I had always thought that gingerbread meant gingerbread men. I don't think I've had once for years, but I remember them as being rather hard and bland little fellows. This caught my eye when I was trawling for stuffing recipes, and realised I was wrong - this type of gingerbread is full of delicious flavours and very damp and sticky.
200g black treacle or molasses
In a saucepan, melt the butter over a lowish heat along with the sugar, syrup, treacle, fresh and ground gingers, cinnamon and cloves. (I found that spooning the syrup into a cup or bowl was the only way to contain it while weighing - though it took a fair amount of spatula work to get it all out again!). Take off the heat, and add the milk, eggs and dissolved bicarbonate of soda in its water. Measure the flour into a bowl and pour in the liquid ingredients, beating until well mixed. It will be a very liquid batter, so don’t worry. This is part of what makes it sticky later.
Pour it into a prepared tin and bake for 45-60 minutes until well risen and firm on top. Try not to overcook, as it is nicer a little stickier, and anyway will carry on cooking as it cools. Transfer the tin to a wire rack and let the gingerbread cool in the tin before cutting into 20 squares, or however you wish to slice it. Dust with icing sugar if desired.