Wednesday 9 April 2008

Gingerbread & Date Cake

I started out planning to bake a date and ginger cake, but as always, I tweaked with the recipe and this cake was the result. The cake itself requires very little added fat as the main binding ingredient is a boiled date mixture. This not only adds a great flavour but also provides a wonderful stickiness which goes hand in hand with the ginger. By substituting wholemeal self raising flour for the white flour stated in the recipe and adding oats in place of breadcrumbs give it a lovely wholesome and slightly toasted/nutty flavour. I also included a little crystallized ginger for extra spice.

I had a little slice of it warm with custard when it was straight out the oven after lunch and it was gorgeous, warming, spicy and fruity. I had a little bit later on that night and was a bit disappointed that it seemed a little dry. I wrapped it up and left it until the following evening when I was overjoyed to discover it had developed a sticky surface and become quite moist and slightly dense but without being heavy. So it seems as though it ages like a traditional gingerbread, getting better with age. If you don’t want to eat it straight away as a hot pudding I would strongly recommend keeping it for 1-2 days before eating.

I consider this cake to be relatively healthy, quite low in fat and full of fibre from the wholemeal flour, oats and dates. You could almost justify it for breakfast.

Gingerbread & Date Cake

45g butter
120g caster sugar
180g wholemeal self raising flour
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder
2tsp ground ginger
15g crystallized ginger
225ml water
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
125g dates (stone removed)
50g raisins
60g rolled oats

Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease a deep 8inch/20cm round tin and set to one side.
Chop the dates into small pieces and add to a small saucepan along with the water.
Bring the mixture to a simmer and then add the bicarbonate of soda. Stir while the mixture bubbles and froths up.
Allow to cook for 3 minutes until the dates have turned mushy and then remove from the heat.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.
Add the egg and beat again.
Add the flour, baking powder, and ground ginger into the bowl. Pour the date mix, water and all, over the top and stir until all combined.
Chop the crystallized ginger into small pieces and stir though the batter along with the raisins and oats.
Spread into the greased tin and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and springy when pressed.
Allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the tin and cooling completely.
When cool, wrap in cling film and leave for 24hours – 2 days before eating for best results. (Although can be eaten straight away, when warm and served with custard).


Johanna GGG said...

Looks lovely and v helpful to see what you do as I am still in search of a dark sticky gingerbread! I've now got the answer to the question I had wondered about - so it does make it go stickier even if you have started cutting into the cake - and do you think that yours looks darker than the one I did this week because of the dates (as I notice there is no molasses or treacle!)?

Gigi said...

...drooling! How high is your cake pan? Your cakes always look tall and beautiful! This cake looks divine! ...I'll be checking my mailbox for my slice. :)

Katie said...

Johanna, I think your gingerbread cake looks slightly darker and for a true gingerbread it should include molasses or treacle. I might try adding some next time, in place of some of the sugar. I bet that would help it go even stickier.

Gigi, the cake tin I used is just over 2.5inches high.

Anonymous said...

Oh my that looks and sounds delicious...I can almost smell it! Will definitely add this to my list of things to make/bake, along with your granola! Thanks for the inspiration!
Michelle G (Kent)

Nora said...

once again, i'm amazed at your modifications (that always work!). i definitely appreciate the wholemeal flour substitution, and hope to try this soon!

Johanna GGG said...

hi katie, I tagged you for a six word memoir if you want a bit of fun with words - no worries if you aren't - if you are then go to

Katie said...

Hi Johanna,
Thanks for the tag! Six words is going to be quite a challange, will get thinking.

Abitofafoodie said...

What a lovely looking cake - and low in fat too; fantastic! I love anything gingery and all the better with addition of sticky dates.

Gloria Baker said...

Looks so nice, really I like this a lot!!!! Lovely recipe, I want try, love ginger! Gloria

Anonymous said...

Made this on Saturday... absolutely delicious!! As you say great warm out the oven, but still great on Sunday. Has a lovely wholesome quality about it too. Used apricots instead of raisins and that seems to work out fine too!
Michelle (Kent)

Katie said...

Hi Michelle,
Thanks for the feedback. I'm glad you liked it :)