Cooking oil spray, to grease
¾ cup dried pitted dates, roughly chopped
¾ cup water
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
40 g unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup caster sugar
1 free-range egg, lightly beaten
½ tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup self-raising flour
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
⅓ cup glace ginger, cut into matchsticks
Caramel sauce and thickened cream, to serve (optional)
Preheat oven to 180ºC. Grease a 6-hole ¼-cup capacity doughnut tin with cooking oil.
Put dates and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over a low heat. Stir in bicarb. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
Put butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat, using an electric hand mixer, until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beating to combine. Sift in flour, ginger and cinnamon and gently mix with a wooden spoon until well combined.
Using a fork, mash cooled dates then stir into batter.
Spoon ½ of the batter into a zip-lock bag or piping bag and snip a 2cm-wide tip. Pipe mixture evenly into tin holes, keeping centre tops clear. Bake for 12 minutes or until cakes spring back when touched. Cool in tin for 2 minutes then turn out by giving tin a quick tap on kitchen bench.
Quickly wash and dry tin, regrease holes, then repeat Step 5 with remaining mixture in same piping bag to make second batch.
Stack 2 on each serving plate. Fill the hole of each top cake with glacé ginger. Drizzle with caramel and cream and serve immediately.