100 g (3½ oz) butter, plus extra for greasing
100 g (3½ oz) dark muscovado sugar
100 g (3½ oz) golden syrup
100 g (3½ oz) ready-chopped pitted dates
100 g (3½ oz) wholemeal plain flour
100 g (3½ oz) self-raising flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
3 pieces of stem ginger, drained of syrup, 2 chopped and 1 cut into strips
2 eggs, beaten
100 ml (3½ fl oz) milk
125 g (4 oz) icing sugar
3 teaspoons water


1.Preheat the slow cooker if necessary. Butter a soufflé dish 14 cm (5.5 inches) in diameter and 9 cm (3.5 inches) deep and base-line with a circle of nonstick baking paper, checking first that it will fit in the slow cooker pot.
2.Put the butter, sugar, syrup and dates into a saucepan and heat gently, stirring, until the butter and sugar have melted.
3. Take the pan off the heat, add the flours, bicarbonate of soda, ground and chopped ginger, eggs and milk and beat until smooth.
4.Pour into the lined dish and cover the top loosely with buttered foil. Lower the dish carefully into the slow cooker pot.
5. Pour boiling water into the pot to come halfway up the sides of the dish, cover with the lid and cook on high for 5 hours or until a skewer comes out cleaniy when inserted into the centre of the ginger cake.
6.Lift the dish out of the slow cooker pot using a tea towel and leave to stand for 10 minutes, then remove the foil and loosen the edge of the cake with a knife.
7.Turn out on to a wire rack, peel off the lining paper and leave to cool. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and mix in just enough of the measurement water to make a smooth, thick icing.
8.Spoon over the top of the cake, then decorate with the strips of ginger. Leave to set. Cut into wedges to serve.
9.FOR BANANA GINGER CAKE, omit the dates from the ginger cake and add 1 small mashed banana mixed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice when adding the chopped ginger. Cook and ice as above. 15:08

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