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Wild Winter Spice Cake



140g golden syrup

50g black treacle

50g dark brown soft sugar

150g butter

2tsp ground ginger

1tsp ground (or finely chopped) hogweed seeds

2 eggs

2Tbs milk (or sloe gin or cloveroot syrup)

30g crystallised ginger

70g prunes (or sloe gin soaked Auricularia)

30g oats

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.

Happy baking!

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