Lady Jekyll suggests putting whole almonds on top of the cake but I had none. Instead, I reconstituted some dried pears in a mix of orange juice and white wine with a small amount of candied ginger and served a spoonful of this compote with a generous dollop of cream.
500g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
250g brown sugar
4 tbsp mixed peel
250g butter, chopped
blanched almonds (optional)
Preheat oven to 160C.
Butter a 22cm x 7cm deep square tin and line the base with paper.
Sieve all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in the mixed peel and mix through the dry ingredients.
Place the butter in a saucepan with the milk and warm just until the butter has dissolved.
Whisk the eggs just until well-combined.
Warm the treacle in the microwave for a minute or stand the jug of treacle in a pot of boiling water. Stir warmed treacle into eggs and whisk well together.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the egg-treacle mixture.
Pour into the tin, arrange almonds on top if using, and bake for 1 1/2 hours to 1¾ hours or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Cool completely. Cut into squares and dust with icing sugar.