Date and ginger cake with caramel glaze
- March 2013
- Serves 8-10
- Hands-on 20 min, oven time 50-55 min
This indulgent date and ginger cake is doused with a rich, glossy golden caramel glaze. It makes a great dessert or can be enjoyed for afternoon tea.
- 12.3g (6.8g saturated)
- 43g (30.5g sugars)
- 200g stoned dates, finely sliced
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 75g unsalted butter
- 175g light muscovado sugar (we like Billington’s)
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 3 large free-range eggs
- 225g self-raising flour
- 2-4 pieces stem ginger from a jar, roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp chopped crystallised ginger to decorate
For the caramel glaze
- 100g caster sugar
- 25g salted butter
- 75ml double cream
- Heat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Put the dates in a bowl with the bicarbonate of soda and 300ml boiling water. Stir and set aside. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, then beat in the ground ginger and the eggs, one at a time. Don’t worry if the mixture curdles – it will come back together.
- Add the flour, beat well, then pour in the dates and their liquid and mix well. The mixture will be runny but don’t worry. Pour into an oiled and lined 1 litre loaf tin, then scatter with the stem ginger and poke the pieces into the mixture. Put in the middle of the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven down to 170°C/fan150°C/gas 3½ and cook for 50-55 minutes until a skewer pushed into the centre comes out clean.
- Meanwhile, make the caramel glaze. Put the sugar in a heavy-based pan over a gentle heat and melt, then increase the heat and bubble for 5-8 minutes to a deep golden caramel. Remove from the heat and add the butter, stirring constantly. Don’t worry if it splits – keep stirring and it will come back together. Add the cream when the butter has melted, then stir until smooth and glossy. Transfer to a bowl, and cool until it has a spreading consistency.
- Remove the cooked cake from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out and cool completely on a wire rack. Spread the caramel over the top, sprinkle with the crystallised ginger and serve immediately. The cake will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
The bicarbonate of soda helps soften the waxy skins of the dates, making them more sticky and toffee-ish.
Freeze the cooked, uncovered cake. Defrost overnight in the fridge, then cover with caramel (step 3).
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