I love bonfire night. A black sky punctuated by lights; the thick smell of smoke wending around people with half-hot faces; and the promise of a charred baked potato from the ashes.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease a 10 inch x 8 inch tin and line with greaseproof paper if you can be bothered (I didn't and it was fine).
- Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and ginger into a bowl.
- Cut the butter and lard into small pieces and rub the fats into the flour to make fine breadcrumbs. Relish the feeling of the cool breadcrumbs running through your fingers.
- Stir in the oats and the sugar.
- Warm the syrup and the treacle (I do this in the microwave until it is more runny than sticky).
- Pour the milk and the treacle into a well in the dried ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are combined.
- Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes or until the cake has started to shrink ever so slightly away from the tin. Don't worry if it starts to sink slightly.
- Cool the cake, wrap it in foil and leave to mature for 3 days to a week.**
* I do love a good sparkler. Last year bonfire night was marred by an official in a yellow vest who told my friends and I that we weren't allowed to light them due to "health and safety". Trying to write your name with an unlit sparkler isn't very much fun. Booo.
** I must admit, only half of my cake made it into its foil wrap, but it is definitely much better once it has matured.