When my birthday rolled around this month and an afternoon of self-indulgent cake-baking was in order, I immediately reached for a recipe I had been lusting over for many months: Cazna and Pat Gilder’s Gingerbread loaf from The Great New Zealand Cookbook (which I’ve raved about here).
Lured by the triple-threat combination of molasses, golden syrup and treacle, and the heady comfort of ginger and spices, I knew this would be a winner even before breaking the first egg. Blind faith in an unfamiliar recipe paid dividends (a common theme with this wonderful cookbook) – the gingerbread is lusciously rich but not overly sweet, and is lovely toasted and topped with vanilla ice cream.
Pre-heat the oven to 165°C and line a loaf tin with baking paper. Melt 50g of butter in a larger saucepan, then add 1 tablespoon each of molasses, golden syrup and treacle and stir to combine. Add 2 eggs, 1 cup of plain yoghurt, 1 cup of milk, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and beat everything together until “smooth-as”. In a large bowl, sift 3 cups of plain flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 tablespoon of ground ginger, 1 teaspoon of mixed spice, and half a cup of brown sugar (I went next-level and used muscovado), then make a well in the center and pour in the syrupy mixture. Beat until the mixture is totally combined and heady with spicy-caramelly richness, then pour into the pan and bake for 45 minutes.