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Squidgy Pumpkin and Ginger Loaf

GoodFood Magazine claims this luscious loaf “tastes even better after maturing for a couple of days,” but ours didn’t last that long! Moist and darkly delicious, this flavorful treat is perfect by the slice, smeared with soft butter, and offered up with a cuppa, a cosy indulgence on an autumn afternoon, though we’ve been known to enjoy such fare with morning coffee as well!

Squidgy Pumpkin and Ginger Loaf

9 oz. chunks of pumpkin or squash
2 tbs. black treacle (molasses)
3 fl. oz. golden syrup
5 oz. light brown sugar (1 cup not packed)
3.5 fl. oz. low-fat milk
4 oz. cold butter, diced (8 tbs.)
8 oz. self-rising flour (2 cups minus 1 tbs.)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbs. ground ginger
2 tsp. mixed spice
2 eggs, beaten
8-10 chunks crystallized ginger, thinly sliced

Put the pumpkin or squash in a microwave-proof bowl with a dribble of water. Cover with cling film, pierce with a couple of holes, and cook in a microwave on High for 5-10 minutes, or until the pumpkin is soft and mashable. Drain off the water and mash until smooth. Put the treacle, syrup, sugar, and milk in a pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.

Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease your largest loaf tin and line with a strip of parchment. Sift the flour, baking soda, spices, and a pinch of salt into a bowl together. tip in the diced butter and rub with your fingertips until no big lumps remain.

Whisk the mash and the egg into the lukewarm syrup mixture, then stir everything into the dry ingredients. Pour the batter into the prepared tin, filling no more than 2/3 full. Scatter with most of the crystallized ginger and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer poked into the center comes out with just moist crumbs attached. Scatter over the remaining sliced ginger to stick, then cool in the tin. This cake tastes delicious once thoroughly cooled and sliced, but even better if wrapped in parchment and foil, and left for a couple of days to mature. Serve with soft butter to smear over each slice.

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