• 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 stoned 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
  • 3–3½ teaspoons water

Preheat the slow cooker if necessary; see the manufacturer's instructions. Butter a soufflé dish that is 14 cm (5½ inches) across the base and 9 cm (3½ inches) high and base-line with a circle of nonstick baking paper.

Put the measured butter, sugar, syrup and dates into a saucepan and heat gently, stirring, until the butter and sugar have melted. Take the pan off the heat, add the flours, bicarbonate of soda, ground and chopped ginger, eggs and milk and beat until smooth. Pour into the lined dish and cover the top loosely with buttered foil.

Lower the dish carefully into the slow cooker pot on foil straps (see page 15) or tie string around the top edge of the dish. Pour boiling water into the pot to come halfway up the sides of the dish, cover with the lid and cook on high for 4½–5 hours or until a skewer comes out cleanly when inserted into the centre of the ginger cake.

Take the dish out of the slow cooker pot, leave to stand for 10 minutes, then remove the foil and loosen the edge of the cake with a knife. 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 water to make a smooth, thick icing. Spoon over the top of the cake, then decorate with the strips of ginger. Leave to set. Cut into wedges to serve.

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