Warm, comforting and a little fiery. Ginger will always be an ingredient that I associate with my mum. Every time I make her a cake, usually for her birthday or for Mother’s Day, I know that a ginger cake will be well received. My mum LOVES ginger, as did my beloved grandpa. I have childhood memories of the both of them snacking on crystallised ginger and offering a piece to me, only for it to be spat out with a scrunched up face and look of disgust. This, of course, was met with loud laughter.
My go-to ginger cake recipe is Nigel Slater’s double ginger cake and it’s this simple and wonderful recipe that I usually fall back on when my mother’s birthday comes around. And as delicious as that cake is, I thought it was about time that I came up with my own.
After researching lots of different ginger and sticky toffee cakes, I came up with this. It’s almost halfway between the two. The chopped dates mean that this cake is really sticky and moist. It keeps well (in an airtight container) and is a great cake to make ahead of time. If anything, it tastes even better a couple of days later. It freezes really well too!
- 175 g Self-raising flour
- 100 g Butter (melted)
- 150 g Dark brown soft sugar
- 2 large Eggs
- 200 g Chopped dates
- 250 ml Chai Tea (or any black tea)
- 2-3 tsp Ground ginger
- 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp Golden syrup
- 1 tbsp Ginger syrup (from the jar of stem ginger)
- 3-4 balls of Stem ginger (finely chopped)
- 1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup Butter
- 1/4 cup double cream
- a dash of vanilla essence
- Crystallised ginger
- Stem ginger (finely chopped)
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan). Grease & evenly flour a bundt tin (or grease & line a 9-inch sandwich tin).
Boil your kettle and brew the tea with 250 ml of water. Leave it to brew for 10 minutes or so. You want it to be strong!
Place the dates in a saucepan with the tea and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and leave to simmer for 5 minutes. If, like me, you’re using chopped dates that are coated in rice flour then you may need to add a little extra hot water. Be sure to keep stirring so that the rice flour doesn’t get stuck to the bottom of the pan!
Add the chopped stem ginger to the date mixture. Blitz the dates, stem ginger and tea in a blender. Set aside to cool slightly.
Whisk the eggs, sugar and syrups together until pale and fluffy. Gradually whisk in the melted butter. Fold in the date mixture.
Sift the dry ingredients into the egg/sugar/syrup mixture and carefully fold together with a large metal spoon. (Try and fold in the dry ingredients in a figure-of-eight motion so that you don’t knock out any air.)
Pour into the tin and pop into the oven for around 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool.
Melt your butter with your sugar in a saucepan over a low heat. Stir until the mixture turns a deep amber colour. Watch it carefully, it can burn very quickly.
Stir in the cream & vanilla and stir continuously until the toffee sauce comes together. Pour on top of your cake whilst the sauce is still warm as it will cool fairly quickly.
Decorate the cake however you wish!
- I know that the toffee sauce ingredients are measured in ‘cups’ here but I found that this was an easy way of scaling the amount up or down. If you want lots of toffee sauce then feel free to measure out your butter, sugar and cream in a mug!
- This is a SERIOUSLY sticky cake so will need to be encased in an ample amount of greaseproof paper when storing it. I’d also recommend that you use a doughnut-shaped piece of baking parchment to place under the cake so it doesn’t stick to the surface that you’ll store it on…
- Before baking: Using baking parchment, draw around the outside of your bundt tin. Draw around the inside circle too so that you have a doughnut shape drawn onto the paper. Cut out this doughnut shape and save for later. Use this piece of paper when turning out your cake. It will stop your super moist cake sticking to the plate!
- This recipe is largely adapted from a Great British Chefs recipe by Victoria Glass.