27 January, 2010

January recipe: Date and Ginger Cake

Ginger is always warming, and this is a comforting cake for a cold winter day. It’s also easy to make and can conveniently share the oven with a slow-cooking winter casserole.

Date and Ginger Cake

2 oz (approx 50 g) stem ginger in syrup, or crystallised ginger
4 oz (approx 120 g) dried stoned dates
4 oz (approx 120 g) butter
4 Tablespoons (4 x 15 ml spoons) golden syrup*
2 Tablespoons (2 x 15 ml spoons) demerara sugar (or other brown sugar, e.g. dark muscovado)
4 oz (approx 120 g) wholemeal flour
4 oz (approx 120 g) plain flour
2 teaspoons (2 x 5 ml spoons) baking powder
2 teaspoons (2 x 5 ml spoons) ground ginger
1 teaspoon (1 x 5 ml spoon) ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon (1 x 5 ml spoon) bicarbonate of soda
2 Tablespoons (2 x 15 ml spoons) ground almonds (optional)
2 eggs, beaten
3 fl. oz (approx 85 ml) milk

Chop the stem ginger and dates into pieces about the size of a raisin (or whatever size pieces you like to find in your cake).

Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a medium sized saucepan over a low heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat.

Stir in the wholemeal flour, plain flour, baking powder, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda and ground almonds (if using; I have found that you can miss the ground almonds out if you don’t like almonds). Mix thoroughly to a smooth paste.

Beat the eggs into the mixture, followed by the milk, and stir thoroughly to a smooth batter. Remember to keep scraping the mixture off the back of the spoon as you beat the eggs and milk in.

Stir in the chopped stem ginger and dates.

Pour into a greased and lined loaf tin or deep cake tin (about 6”, or about 15 cm, diameter is about the right size).

Bake in a moderate oven about 170 C for about 1 hour, until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Turn out of the tin while warm and cool on a wire rack.

Keeps for about a week in an airtight tin, or can be frozen.

If you don’t like dates, you can use sultanas or raisins instead, or a mixture.

*I think the approximate equivalent in North America is light corn syrup


Kathryn Warner said...

Yum, this reminds me of my childhood, when my grandmother made this cake often!

Elizabeth Chadwick said...

I bet this would be nice served hot as a pudding with extra ginger syrups or custard!

Carla said...

Alianore - your grandmother had excellent taste :-)

Elizabeth - I've never tried that, but it probably would work quite well. A bit like sticky toffee pudding, but with ginger.