This is a very old style of cake, but which is easy to make and is a traditional accompaniment to tea or coffee. It can be served at tea-time, but I think it's better as a mid-morning snack.
Old-fashioned Treacle CakeServes: 10-12
Ingredients:250g (2 cups) self-raising flour
1/2 tsp mixed spice (pumpkin pie spice)
75g (3 oz) butter, finely diced
150g (1 cup) mixed dried fruit
1 tbsp black treacle (molasses)
100ml (1/2 cup, scant) milk
2 tbsp caster sugar
Method:Sift together the flour and spice into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Now stir in the sugar and the fruit.
Beat the egg in a bowl then stir in the treacle (molasses), followed by the milk. Stir this liquid into the flour to form a fairly stiff but moist batter (add a little more milk if needed).
Turn the cake batter into a shallow 22cm (9 in) diameter oven-proof flan dish or baking tin that's been liberally greased with butter. Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 180ºC (350ºF, Gas Mark 4) and bake for about 60 minutes or until well risen, firm to the touch and cooked through (a skewer inserted into the centre should emerge clean).
Allow the treacle cake to cool completely in the tin before cutting into wedges and serving.