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Gingerbread with prunes and ale
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This firm cake has a pleasing spicy warmth due to the combination of two spices, ginger and cinnamon. The stout, the Fortnum’s tea, the treacle and the dark muscovado sugar all deepen the flavour, while the prunes and nuggets of stem ginger provide a fruity presence. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Gingerbread with prunes and ale

Put the stout, tea and prunes together in a pan and bring to the boil. Leave to soak for 1 hour. Chop the prunes roughly, reserving the stout.

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F. Grease a 20 cm. square cake tin and line with greaseproof paper.

Put the butter, sugar and treacle in a pan and heat gently to melt the butter. Stir all the ingredients together then leave to cool a little.

Sift the flour, baking powder, ground ginger and cinnamon into a bowl. Add the cooled butter mixture with the eggs, stem ginger, chopped prunes and stout and gently fold everything together. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then continue to cool on a wire rack. When the cake is completely cool, make the icing. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add a splash of boiling water to make it the consistency of double cream. Remove the greaseproof paper and spoon the icing over the cake, using a palette knife to cover the top. Cut into triangles and serve.

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