Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Date Gingerbread

More seasonal baking! Something dark and spicy this time. This recipe comes from one of my oldest baking recipes book, which was published in 1974, the year I got married.  It's so old that the weights and measures are just in ounces and pints (although it does provide American cup volumes too!), and the oven temperatures in Fahrenheit!

I'd usually translate to metric weights, but I was feeling lazy, so I switched my scales to 'lbs and oz' instead. The book gives the basic cake recipe, then suggests variations; I wanted to try the fig and walnut version, but couldn't find any figs in my slightly ramshackle storage system, so made the date version instead. I increased the ground ginger to 3 teaspoons instead of 2, and added an extra 2oz of crystallised ginger pieces too, to ramp up the ginger levels.

4oz butter
2oz light muscovado sugar
6oz black treacle
2oz golden syrup
1/4 pint milk
2 eggs
8oz plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon mixed spice
3 teaspoons ground ginger
4oz chopped dates
2oz crystallised ginger, in small pieces.

Pre-heat the oven to 150C and line a deep 8" (20cm) square cake tin with baking parchment.
Melt the butter, sugar and syrups in a pan over a low heat, just until the butter has melted. Add the milk and cool.
Beat the eggs and add to the melted mixture.
Sift the flour, spices and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl, then add the liquid and stir just enough to combine the ingredients - check there are no pockets of unmixed flour. Do not beat!
Fold in the chopped dates and crystallised ginger.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 75-90 minutes, until a test probe comes out clean. Cool in the baking tin, and leave for a day before cutting, to allow the top to become sticky.

Note - my cake cooked in only 60 minutes - I suspect modern ovens are more efficient than most of those around in the 1970s!

This cake was moist and spicy - sometimes the old traditional recipes can't be beaten! The little pieces of dates added a chewy caramel note and the crystallised ginger added extra heat.


Unknown said...

I do love an old-fashioned recipe like this, with added dates because they make everything lovely!

Snowy said...

This sounds good - my kind of cake. I love traditional cakes too.

Choclette said...

I still think in lbs and ozs - that's what I learned to cook in. This looks delicious and I really like the idea of adding figs.