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Put the pumpkin or squash in a microwave- proof bowl with a dribble of water. Cover with cling film, pierce with a couple of holes and cook in a microwave on High for 5-10 mins, or until the pumpkin is soft and mashable. Drain off the water and mash until smooth. Put the treacle, syrup, sugar and milk in a pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line a 900g loaf tin with a strip of baking parchment. Sift the flour, bicarb, spices and a pinch of salt into a bowl together. Tip in the diced butter and rub with your fingertips until no big lumps remain.
Whisk the mash and the egg into the lukewarm syrupy mixture, then stir everything into the dry ingredients. Pour the batter into the prepared tin, scatter with most of the crystallised ginger and bake for 45 mins until a skewer poked into the centre comes out with just moist crumbs attached. Scatter over the remaining sliced ginger to stick, then cool in the tin. This cake tastes delicious once thoroughly cooled and sliced, but even better if wrapped in parchment and foil, and left for a couple of days to mature. Perfect with a cuppa, smeared with some butter.
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