Friday, 27 November 2015

Sticky Date Cake with Ginger and Lemon

Christmas arrived a little early for me, as the theme for this week's local Clandestine Cake Club meeting was 'European Christmas Markets', with the remit to be inspired by the scents and flavours of Christmas across Europe.

In a way, the CCC is a little limiting when it comes to Christmas - no pies, tarts, or biscuits means a lot of Central and Northern European specialities, such as Lebkuchen, gingerbread biscuits and our own mincepies can't be included. A lot of traditional Christmas baking all across Europe seems to feature yeast dough too, something which is not my forté.

Despite the restrictions there was a great range of cakes to try -  chocolate cakes included Sachertorte, Black Forest Gateau, mint, orange and coffee, then there were two gingerbread cakes, a cranberry and orange drizzle cake, and my personal favourite - a mincemeat and marzipan bundt cake.

The meeting was held in one of our local tea rooms, so as well as the flavours of Christmas in the cakes we had the perfumes from the teas chosen too - London Fog (vanilla and Earl Grey) was popular, and cherry and chocolate tea went down well too. I can't remember the name of the tea recommended to me, but it was robust and spicy, and stood up well to the rich flavours in the cakes.

I took this cake, called a Squidgy Lemon-Ginger Cake on the BBC Good Food site, which I've made for Christmas before. Despite containing no dry fruits or ground spices, the ingredients magically blend to give just the right seasonal flavour and perfume. The cake is moist with finely chopped dried dates, which are soaked before use, and apple and is flavoured with dark muscovado sugar, fresh ginger and lemon, as well as the natural caramelly flavour of the dates.

I decorated the cake with a glacé icing coloured pale green with sparkly food colour, tiny white snowflakes from a bought packet and some larger snowflakes cut from rolled fondant icing. I don't know what possessed me to chose green icing - I had green or gold glitter available and thought green the better option for some reason!


Snowy said...

It looks very festive, Suelle. I like the green and the contrasting white, and the flavours sound Christmassy. Another one to try.

belleau kitchen said...

i love how squidgy it looks and anything with dates is always a winner!

Katie said...

This sounds wonderful. Love the sound of the fresh ginger. Going to try this one :)

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

A great festive theme and I'm sure there must have been some great European cakes at your CCC to all enjoy!

Phil in the Kitchen said...

Dates are a great favourite in my extended family and I'm often urged to bake something with them. I've no excuse now. The flavours sound so good, whatever the time of year.