This recipe calls for a bain marie. If you don’t have one, place your baking pans in a large roasting pan or casserole dish and fill to half the height of your baking pans. Avoid using a Dutch oven as it holds too much heat.
Yields 2 pans (48 servings)
Recipe courtesy of James Gallagher, Shadow Lawn Inn, Rothesay, N.B.
7 cups (1.8 L) water
2.2 lb (1 kg) pitted dates
4 Tbsp (60 ml) baking soda
0.7 lb (320 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
2.2 lb (1 kg) sugar
2.2 lb (1 kg) all-purpose flour
4 Tbsp (60 ml) baking powder
2 tsp (10 ml) powdered ginger
Heat oven to 350°F (177°C).
Place dates and water into large pot, boil for 5 minutes.
In stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs two at a time, mixing on medium-high speed until well incorporated.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and ginger; in large bowl, combine with butter-sugar-egg mixture.
Once dates are boiled, remove from heat, stir in baking soda. Mixture will foam.
Using rubber spatula, immediately stir dates into dough until combined.
Pour into rectangular glass baking pans sprayed with oil and lined with parchment paper.
Bake in bain marie for 20 minutes, lower the heat and cook at 300°F (149°C) until cake is firm.