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by Naomi Newton
Ginger … yum! I love it. However, for those who aren’t too keen on ginger then don’t worry, this ‘cake’ doesn’t taste particularly strongly of ginger. If anything it tastes much more of treacle.
The end result is a heavy cake that has a hearty look and feel about it, and I made sure to add a handful of oats for its improvement.
I can picture it as being a favourite on a farm, with each slice being almost a meal in itself. A good dollop of cream on top is lovely with it too!
The consistency of the mix is quite thick, and the texture of the cake is lovely and dense. I imagined more of a loaf-style finish, however, there was so much mixture I used a square cake tin instead of my usual loaf tin.
1913 ingredients and mode
Ingredients: 1 pound treacle or golden syrup, half a pound butter, a quarter of a pound of sugar, 1 pound of flour, 1 cup of milk, 3 eggs, 1 teaspoonful carbonate of soda, lemon peel to taste, 1 tablespoon ginger, 1 tablespoon allspice.
Mode: Mix butter and sugar together. Add the eggs, then the treacle, warmed with milk, and carbonate of soda, then the flour and spices. A handful of oatmeal is an improvement. Bake in a moderate oven.
Source: Home Cookery for Australia: All Tested Recipes, 1913, Arbuckle, Waddell & Fawckner, Melbourne, p126.
A note on conversion
Luckily, I had discovered early during the preparation and conversion that one pound of treacle is different to one pound of flour, otherwise I would have ended up with a very, very sticky cake! By my calculation, a pound of treacle is about 450 grams, but I’d be happy to hear from others if this is not quite right?
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Glorious Days: Australia 1913 was on show at the National Museum of Australia from 7 March to 13 October 2013.