This recipe is based on one in my Marguerite Patten cookbook, influenced by a friend’s family recipe and further research. It’s my husband’s favourite, so it’s well tested!

10 oz SR flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 rounded tsp mixed spice
5 oz white sugar
5 oz soft marg
10 oz raisins
2 eggs
4 oz water, milk or whey
1 tsp vanilla

Grease and flour, or grease and line, two 1lb loaf tins.

Sieve the dry ingredients together into a bowl. Cut in the marg with a fork, then add the raisins. Weigh the liquid and add the vanilla to it. Pour the liquid into the bowl with the other ingredients, then crack the eggs one at a time into the measuring cup and then add to the mixture (just to check they haven’t gone off).

Beat the mixture until smooth, perhaps about a minute with an electric mixer. Divide the mixture between two 1lb loaf tins, about 18oz each. I like to sprinkle the top with demerara sugar for a bit of crunch, but you can use walnut halves or leave it plain.

Bake at 180°C for 45 min or until done. Cool in tin 20 min or so before removing, as it’s a little fragile when warm. Serve warm or cold, with or without a bit of butter. Best fresh, but OK for a few days. If stale, zap in micro for 15 sec and top with custard.