There is something so wonderfully, quintessentially British about a Summer Fete. Where else in the world would you see a tombola being rolled, teddies being named and ducks being hooked whilst Pimms is sipped? It feels so timeless. Because of that I always feel it is nice to bake something very traditional for the school cake stall. Of course, there need to be plenty of gaudy dolly mixture-topped creations to appeal to the kiddies. But when I'm at the cake stall I want to buy something old-fashioned and homely - a slice of victoria sponge or a freshly baked scone, some chocolate tiffin or a square of fresh gingerbread....
for the gingerbread
150g unsalted butter
125g muscovado sugar
200g golden syrup
200g black treacle
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely grated
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs, beaten to mix
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda,
dissolved in 2 tbsps warm water
300g plain flour
for the icing
1 tbsp lemon juice
175g sieved icing sugar
1 tbsp warm water
roasting tin, approx 30x20x5cm
Preheat oven to 170 degrees C/ gas mark 3. Grease and line your tin.
In a saucepan, melt the butter, sugar, golden syrup and treacle along with the cinnamon and ginger.
remove from the heat and add the milk, eggs and bicarb in its water.
Measure the flour into a bowl and add the liquid ingredients, beating until well mixed. pour this (very liquid) batter into the tin and bake for 3/4 to 1 hour until risen and firm. be careful not to overcook - you want this a little sticky.
While it is cooling, make the icing by whisking the lemon juice into the icing sugar, then gradually adding the water (you may not need to use all the water - you want a nice, thick, spreadable icing). Spread over the cooled gingerbread and leave to set before cutting into squares.
Simple Summer Fair perfection.
(this recipe originally appeared in Nigella Lawson's How To Be A Domestic Goddess