Chocolate, Date and Fresh Ginger Torte

. June, 2016
Photography by Claire Aldous.
Chocolate, Date and Fresh Ginger Torte

Chocolate and dates pair beautifully with rich, warm spices. With its dense, truffle like texture and topped with a salted caramel sauce, the final flourish of thick yoghurt with a sprinkle of coconut sugar makes it the perfect weekend treat!


200 grams dried dates, pitted
½ cup orange juice or water
¼ cup Marsala wine or brandy or use another ¼ cup orange juice or water
75 grams butter at room temperature
75 ml rice bran oil
300 grams dark chocolate, 68% cocoa, chopped
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
6 x #7 eggs (large)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground mixed spice
¼ cup caster sugar

Salted Caramel Sauce
​¾ cup caster sugar
2 tablespoons water
½ cup cream    
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon Marsala, optional
75 grams diced butter at room temperature


Grease a 24cm spring form cake tin and line the base and sides with baking paper.

Preheat the oven to 160°C fan bake

Put the dates, juice and Marsala in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the dates are very soft, stirring occasionally. Mash the dates with a fork until smooth. Cool.

Melt the butter, rice bran oil and chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Take off the heat and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the date puree and grated ginger until well combined. 

Separate the eggs and whisk the yolks, salt and the mixed spice into the chocolate mixture.

Put the whites in a separate bowl and whisk until foamy. Gradually beat in the sugar to form stiff peaks.

Using a large metal spoon, fold a large spoonful of the whites into the chocolate mixture to loosen the batter then gently but thoroughly fold in the remaining egg whites until there are no white streaks. 

Tip into the cake tin and gently smooth the top. 

Bake for about 35-40 minutes until the centre of the cake is set but not too firm. A skewer inserted into the centre should come out with a few damp crumbs attached. 

Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.

To serve: Place the cake on a serving plate and pour over the caramel sauce. Serve with a bowl of thick plain yoghurt sprinkled with coconut sugar. (It will melt into the yoghurt after a few minutes) Serves 12.

Salted Caramel Sauce

Put the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and slowly bring to the boil, making sure all the sugar has dissolved before it boils. Wipe down any stray grains of sugar from the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water. 

Cook until the sugar turns a deep golden colour, gently swirling the pan so it colours evenly. Take off the heat and immediately add the cream, taking great care as it will bubble up furiously. Add the salt and Marsala if using and stir until smooth then leave to cool for 10 minutes. Whisk in the butter a few pieces at a time until the sauce is thick and glossy. Transfer to a bowl and cool to a thick pouring consistency.