This cake is a marvel - surprisingly luscious and moist given that the ingredients and method are so simple. A great one to make with the kids for Father's Day. Do make sure to dissolve the soda properly.
Preheat oven to moderate (180degC/160degC Fan forced). Grease and line a 23cm round cake tin.
Put the first seven ingredients into a medium heavy bottomed saucepan. Stir together well, bring to the boil and simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
When mixture has cooled, dissolve soda in the boiling water and add to the saucepan along with the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine well then pour into prepared cake tin. Smooth the top.
Bake 40 - 50 minutes of until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Dust lightly with cocoa or icing sugar before serving.
Tip: try 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves mixed with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon for a change of spice.