Wild Winter Spice Cake
140g golden syrup
50g black treacle
50g dark brown soft sugar
2tsp ground ginger
1tsp ground (or finely chopped) hogweed seeds
2Tbs milk (or sloe gin or cloveroot syrup)
30g crystallised ginger
70g prunes (or sloe gin soaked Auricularia)
120g self raising flour
Melt both syrups, sugar and butter over low heat in a saucepan. Mince crystallised ginger and prunes (or sloe gin soaked wood ear mushrooms) and add with ground hogweed seeds and ginger , eggs, milk, and oats to the sugar, syrup, and butter mixture. Finally, sift flour and gently fold under the mixture. Fill into greased and floured baking form and bake for one hour in a preheated 160 degree celsius oven.
Hogweed seeds can be found still clinging to the desiccated Heracleum sphondylium flower stalks throughout the winter months, but they can also be easily stored in jars or other storage containers, as long as they are completely dry. As with all spices, they are best stored whole and then ground or minced freshly before use.
This Wild Winter Spice Cake is similar to traditional gingerbread and parkin recipes. It keeps really well and actually improves over time, the texture getting more moist and sticky and the flavours mingling beautifully, so can be made a few days or even a week or two ahead. Keep in a cake tin in a cool room to store.