175g pitted dates
1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
120g S.R. Flour
1 level tsp mixed spice
I level tsp ground ginger
90g soft dark brown sugar
50g unsalted butter
50g soft brown sugar
125ml single cream
Prep to Cook: Small saucepan, measuring jug, Mixing bowl, basin, food processor, spatula, sieve, plate, teaspoon, knife, tablespoon, cooking tin. Pre-heat oven 170?C or Gas Mark 3
Prep: Roughly chop the dates and put in basin. Cover with 50 ml boiling water and leave to soften. Process until it forms a smooth mixture.
Sift S.R. flour with mixed spice, ginger and bicarbonate into mixing bowl.
Add sugar and stir well.
Melt butter gently in a pan and beat together with the 3 eggs.
Pour into the flour mixture and stir lightly.
Spoon into greased cake tin and bake gently for 25 – 30 minutes
Cool and remove from tin to serving plate.
For the sauce: Place all the ingredients for the sauce into a saucepan and heat gently.
Increase the heat once the sugar crystals have dissolved.
Boil carefully for about 5 minutes until thick and syrupy.
Drizzle over the sponge cakes and serve warm.
This recipe uses bicarbonate of soda as an extra raising agent to give a light sponge. Ginger masks any slight flavour of the bicarbonate.
Cooks Know How: Making a batter with eggs, flour and raising agents enables a light open textured sponge to be created. There is plenty of egg to help the mixture stay runny until it is risen when the egg proteins will set lightly and hold the risen shape. The protein in the flour, gluten, will also set. Gentle temperature will prevent toughening the cake. The raising agent is in the S.R. flour and also the bicarbonate of soda. The choice of sugar, dark soft brown sugar will give these cakes a rich colour and syrupy flavour. These cakes are best lightly cooked because their texture needs to be bouncy and soft. Soft dates are used to give flavour and also because they are sweet to soften the cake texture. The end result should be rather like a steamed sponge, nice and light. The sauce which is rather like a butterscotch topping, adds sweetness and moistness and more calories. Serve with poached fruits such as rhubarb or fresh orange segments.
Stem ginger pieces could be chopped and used to enhance the ginger flavour. Another change could be replacing the soft dates with soft apricots or figs, either would work well.