Molasses ginger squares

A generous dash of light beer or ale in the cake batter gives these molasses ginger squares a lift, while stem and ground ginger add a hit of spice that will make them a favoured recipe you’ll return to again and again. Cover and leave your bake to cool overnight and it’ll get even stickier before serving.

molasses ginger squares
Chris Alack

MAKES 9 SQUARES

150ml light beer (pale ale or lager)
175g molasses sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
unsalted butter for greasing
200g self-raising flour
2 tsp ground ginger
3 large eggs
100g golden caster sugar
125ml groundnut or sunflower oil
2-3 knobs of stem ginger finely sliced, and 3 tbsp ginger syrup

1. Place the beer and molasses sugar in a small saucepan and slowly bring to the boil, working out any lumps with the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, stir in the bicarbonate of soda and set aside to cool for about 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and butter a 23cm square brownie tin, 4cm deep. Sift the flour and ginger into a large bowl. Whisk together the eggs, caster sugar and oil in a medium bowl, then slowly add to the flour, stirring.

3. Add the beer mixture in two goes, gently mixing it in. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30-35 minutes until just firm to the touch (avoid opening the oven door during this time). Remove from the oven, run a knife around the edge of the cake and drizzle over the syrup using the back of a spoon to evenly coat the surface. Decorate with slivers of stem ginger. Cover and set aside to cool. Like other ginger cakes, this gets stickier overnight.

Recipe by Annie Bell. Food styling by Clare Lewis. Styling by Sue Radcliffe.

For more recipe ideas go to anniebell.net and @anniebellcook