If like me you you live in the country Christmas is a time when neighbours drop in or sometimes a group of carol singers comes knocking on the door. It is always great to be able to offer some refreshment and so this delicious recipe is ideal as an unusual alternative to mince pies for hungry cold carol singers or even those early Christmas visitors expecting a cup of tea and a slice of homemade cake.

It is easy to make you simply use a 10” x 14” greased and lined roasting tin and pre-heat oven to 325F. Next rub the butter into flour and add sugar and spices. Heat treacle in small pan until melted, but do not allow it to become too hot, mix in dry ingredients and beaten eggs. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the milk and stir it into the mixture, beat well. Spread mixture evenly in the roasting tin and bake for 1 ¾ hrs. Cool in tin for 15 minutes before turning out on a wire rack.

Ingredients:

1½ lbs flour
8 oz butter
8 oz dark soft brown sugar
1 tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1½ lbs black treacle
4 beaten eggs
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
4 tbsp milk

When the cake is cold cut it into slices ready for all those hungry Christmas visitors and store in an airtight tin for a few days before eating.