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Sticky Toffee Ginger Loaf

If a cake could have magic powers, this would be the one: it rendered eight people simultaneously speechless! A combination of two of our most favorite desserts, Sticky Toffee Pudding and Ginger Cake, this is amazing. The delicate sponge is studded with dates and stem ginger, then topped with a sticky, buttery caramel glaze. Proof that you can have your cake and eat your pudding too!

Sticky Toffee Ginger Loaf

7  oz. pitted dates, quartered (1½ cups)
1 tsp. baking soda
2½ oz. butter, softened (5 tbs.)
4 oz. brown sugar (½ cup)
2 tsp. ground ginger
3 eggs
5 tbs. finely chopped stem ginger
7 oz. self-rising flour (1¾ cup)\

Caramel Glaze:

3½ oz. caster sugar ½ cup)
1½ oz. butter (3 tbs.)
5 fl. oz. light cream (half and half)

Put the dates and baking soda in a bowl and cover with 10 fl. oz. boiling water. Leave to soften for at least 20 minutes.

Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 10″x5″ loaf pan, then line with a strip of parchment paper.

In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and thick. Add the ground ginger, then the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the dates and their soaking water, the stem ginger, and the flour. Mix until well combined — the mixture will be very loose.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55-65 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Leave to sit in the pan for 10 minutes, then, using the parchment paper, remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the caramel glaze, place the sugar in a saucepan or pot large enough to ensure that the sugar is no more than ¼-inch deep, otherwise the heat will not distribute evenly through the sugar.  Put the pan over a gentle heat, add 1 tsp. of water, and let the sugar slowly dissolve into a clear liquid, then boil gently until you have a deep, golden, caramel. Shake the pan rather than stir it with a spoon to avoid the sugar hardening before it liquifies. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Heat the cream in a separate pan or the microwave and whisk in until smooth and glossy. Set in the fridge while the cake cools to firm up into a spreading consistency. Spread over the cooled cake and cut into slices to serve.

Sticky Toffee Ginger Loaf

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