Sticky ginger cake

I was invited to Rotterdam this week to give a talk. I didn’t get much time to see the city but managed a couple of pictures:

After the talk, my hosts took me to the Restaurant La Vilette for a great meal. Their menu features seasonal produce, and we ate quite a bit of white asparagus. I love asparagus and always look forward to this time of year when I can eat it in season. The British asparagus season starts around 23rd April and lasts about 8 weeks, so there’s a bit more time to enjoy it this year. While I prefer the green version, white asparagus is popular in continental Europe and is made by piling earth around the shoots to blanche them. Asparagus has long been used as a vegetable, in fact a recipe for cooking asparagus exists in the oldest surviving book of recipes, the third-century AD ‘De re coquinaria’. Asparagus has also featured in medicine, notably as a diuretic, and allegedly it has aphrodisiacal powers and cures hangovers……. It’s well-known effect on urine is due to it being metabolised to a number of sulphur-containing compounds, although not everyone can smell them. A study published in 2010 suggested this may be due to genetic differences. I guess this might take some of the fun out of eating it? Or maybe it is just me that is amused by this clever bit of physiology.

Anyway, this is detracting from the recipe for Sticky Ginger Cake that I wanted to share with you (pdf here: Sticky Ginger Cake)

175g unsalted butter, melted

100g dried pitted dates

Sticky ginger loaf5-6 balls of stem ginger

30ml maple syrup

3 large eggs

200g ground almonds

50g plain flour

1tsp baking powder

1tsp ground ginger

  1. Heat oven to 170 degrees, gas 3. Grease and line a 900g loaf tin
  2. Cover the dates with boiling water and allow them to soak for 10 minutes. Place them in a food processor with the ginger, maple syrup and butter and whizz till the mixture is smooth. Mix in eggs
  3. Add the dry ingredients and mix till combined
  4. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and level
  5. Bake for ~1 hour until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean – covering with foil for the last 10 mins if necessary
  6. Leave cake to cool in tin

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