This cake is always better the day after baking, and the day after that; it’s always the way with sticky spicy cakes – they need time to mellow and let their flavours mature. I do have a penchant for rum and have a selection at home that would rival most cocktail bars; for this cake I chose a spiced rum as I thought the extra punch of flavour would work well. Spiced rum always seems to have a vanilla note to it too and I never miss the opportunity to get a bit of vanilla into something.
You can taste each of the main flavours in the cake: ginger, dates and rum. Putting the rum in the icing gives a raw hit – if you like your booze softer, and more baked, consider putting more in the cake and leaving it out of the icing.
Without checking through almost nine years of blogging, I don’t remember putting dates into a ginger cake before. It was a good move – it turned a standard ginger cake into something more akin to a sticky toffee pudding. You could leave the icing off this cake and serve it warm, as dessert, with custard or ice cream. Personally, I am always partial to a white icing and a bit of the itchy teeth feel it can sometimes create. Many older people I know have lost their taste for overly sweet things…I do sometimes wonder if it will ever happen to me. I just can’t imagine being that person who winces when they eat something and say, ‘ooh, that’s a bit sweet for me’. Does. Not. Compute.
100g dark muscovado sugar
125g black treacle
125g golden syrup
3 tablespoons rum – I used spiced rum
225g self raising flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
50g stem ginger, finely chopped
75g medjool dates – pitted and finely chopped
100g icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons spiced rum
1 tablespoon stem ginger syrup (from the jar of stem ginger)