Sunday, 9 November 2014

Date and ginger cake

This sort of cake personifies the start of winter to me; it’s got lots of rich flavours and warming spice.  The dates taste like toffee and the gentle hint of chocolate in the background adds depth to what could otherwise be just another nice spiced sponge.  It has the lightness of texture that you find in really good sticky toffee puddings.  Oh, and if you’re still not sold it’s a doddle to make, smells divine whilst cooking and keeps for days thus, if you were so minded, you could eat the whole thing yourself!

I served the cake at room temperature but, if you omit the glaze, it would be great served warm with custard for a winter pudding.  I smiled when I typed that because one thing I have realised being married to The Custard King aka Mr CC is that pudding and custard is an all-seasons food!

This cake just grew and grew – it came out enormous! There’s practically a whole other cake in the huge dome!

I know some people are wary at using the C word too early, but I think this could easily be adapted to a Christmas cake for those who don’t want to go down the traditional fruitcake path.  You could go the easy route i.e. make it as I have but plonk some plastic reindeer on top, or change the tin to a traybake tin, increase the amount of icing and create a snow scene on top i.e. plonk some plastic reindeer, trees and snowmen on top.  You will notice from my suggestions that I am not much of a cake decorator…..


For the cake:
140g dates – stoned and chopped
410ml evaporated milk
100g soft dark brown sugar
225g plain flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
50g stem ginger – chopped
200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs

For the glaze:
100g icing sugar
Enough stem ginger syrup to form a thick, glossy icing – add a teaspoon at a time


Preheat the oven to 160C/fan oven 140C/320F/gas mark 3.

Line a 20cm round springform tin with baking paper.

Place the dates, evaporated milk and dark brown sugar into a saucepan.

Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until the dates are soft and the sugar has melted – you can see this by looking on the back of your spoon; if you can see any granules you need to cook for longer.

Put the pan to one side to cool.

Place the flour, cocoa powder, ground ginger, bicarbonate of soda, stem ginger and butter into a food processor and blitz until there are no lumps.

Add the cooled date mixture and the eggs and blitz briefly just until the ingredients are combined.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake for approximately 1 hour – it may take longer – or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin as initially the cake will be very soft.

De-tin after about 30 minutes and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

When the cake is cold you can add the glaze: use just enough stem ginger syrup to turn the icing sugar into a thick white glossy glaze.

Drizzle over the cake and leave to set.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Kate@whatkatebaked said...

I can totally see why this cake screams winter - it'll be a hit for the next three months for certain! I love the fox plate too!

Laura Denman said...

This sounds so good! I love the way you describe the flavours and that is such an impressive height! Perfectly seasonal =)

freerangegirl said...

Mmm delicious - I haven't had date cake in ages now I'm going to have to bake one - this looks so tempting!

Gloria Baker said...

Look wonderful!
I love dates:)

Baking Addict said...

definitely a good winter cake and it's not too early now to mention Christmas!

Kate Glutenfreealchemist said...

Wow..... it did grow and grow! Still that's unexpected extra deliciousness..... As a snow scene it would be a perfect ski slope!!!!

Cakelaw said...

Yum - I love this kind of cake all year round.

MonuTeena RecipesPassion said...

i am going to bookmark this beautiful recipe wow

LoraineC said...

This sounds yummy!! Can't wait to try it.

The Happy Whisk said...

Love these kinds of warm spices together. YUMMMMY.

Jessica Holmes said...

Oh I love ginger anything - this cake would be right up my alley!

Snowy said...

What a great looking cake - you'd certainly get a good slice! Love ginger and dates, so this cake sounds perfect for us.

Maggie said...

Are you sure Mr CC is the Custard King? I think my hubby would want to challenge his title!!! The cakecumpudding is wonderful for this time of the year.

Katie said...

I bet this is the kind of cake that improves with age. Looks glorious. I'll have mine with lashing of custard please :)