Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Mma Ramotswe's date & ginger cake

Mma Ramotswe always has a pot of redbush tea ready. Redbush tea is also known as Rooibos, and often when I enjoy my cup of rooibos, I think of my favourite traditionally built heroine and her love of tea and life in general.

This recipe is for her, and I hope Mma Ramotswe would have enjoyed sharing a cup of tea and a big slice of cake with me.

I have recently discovered a new tea: Charbrew Tropical Rooibos.

When you open the box, the aroma is overwhelmingly enticing. The teabags themselves are very pretty, and look like an essence of summer, with their splashes of colour.
Each teabag is actually a transparent tea pyramid which contains rooibos, apple pieces, orange peels, ginger, cinnamon, lemongrass, coconut rasps, pink pepper, cardamom, cornflower blossoms, red currants. It's like a whole tropical orchard in a cup.
The colour of tea is lovely too. It tastes wonderfully refreshing and aromatic. And don't worry about the pepper, it adds just a hint of heat without assaulting your tastebuds.
I can easily see it becoming my new favourite. Simply delightful.

Mma Ramotswe's Date & Ginger Cake

tea cake


2 Charbrew Tropical Rooibos teabags
250g of dates, chopped
100g crystallised ginger, chopped
100g mixed fruit, chopped
1 standard mug of self-raising flour (about 200g)
1 mug of golden caster sugar
2 medium eggs
75g butter, melted
1tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder

First boil the water and pour over 2 Charbrew Tropical Rooibos teabags in a mug. Allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

In a big mixing bowl mix together chopped dates and ginger, mixed fruit, flour, sugar, eggs, melted butter, all spices and baking powder. Pour the mug of tepid tea (discard the teabags) in the mix and stir well.
Oil a tin, pour the mix in the tin. Place the tin in the oven and bake the cake for about an hour.
Once the cake is done (check with the wooden skewer), take the tin out of the oven and allow to cool before taking the cake out of the tin.

I used a cake ring for this cake, but I confess it was a bit of a struggle to take the cake out because of the sugared ginger, as it made the cake quite sticky. Next time I bake this cake I am going to use a standard springform tin to make it easier to take the cake out.

I used Natural Selection products for this cake: mixed fruit and dates come already chopped, which saves you time in the kitchen, very handy, and all the dried berries and fruit that I tried from Natural Selection are lush.

Decorate the cake with the icing sugar to your heart's content.

The cake itself was very moist, aromatic and lovely with a cup of tea. If you like, serve with a dollop of the Greek yogurt to add a sharp note to its sweetness.

I think my hero, Mma Ramotswe would approve.
"She had a taste for sugar, however, and this meant that a doughnut or a cake might follow the sandwich. She was a traditionally built lady, after all, and she did not have to worry about dress size, unlike those poor neurotic people who were always looking in the mirrors and thinking that they were too big. What was too big anyway? Who was to tell another person what size they should be? It was a form of dictatorship, by the thin, and she was not having any of it. If these thin people became any more insistent, then the more generously-sized people would just have to sit on them! Hah!"
(Morality for Beautiful Girls)


  1. I've never could take to Rooibus tea, but can see that it would be nice in your cake.

  2. Ah - I love Mma Ramotswe and her 'traditional build' too. This sounds like lovely tea - I will look out for it. Am making a tea loaf this weekend - I might use Rooibos instead of earl grey. What do you think?

  3. I think it would work well in a tea loaf.