This is a moist and long-lasting cake. It is best to store the cake for a few days (or even a week) before serving as the flavours develop as the cake matures.
The lemon gives the cake a proper zing whilst the apple keeps the cake moist and aids with its keeping properties.
Like all cakes containing fruit this goes brilliantly well with coffee. As well as apple you could use a blend of half apple and half blackberry or half apple and half blueberry or bilberry.
Squidgy Lemon-ginger and Apple CakeServes: 12
Ingredients:200g (1 cup) butter, diced
200g (8 oz) pitted dates, chopped
300g (1 1/2 cups) muscovado sugar
50g (2 oz) fresh root ginger, finely grated
finely-grated zest of 1 lemon
200g (2 cups, scant) self-raising flour
1 Bramley cooking apple (about 250g [9 oz]), peeled, cored and finely diced
To Decorate:50g (2 oz) white chocolate
1 tbsp candied lemon peel, chopped
1 tbsp sugar 'coffee crystals'
Method:Place the dates in a bowl and pour over just enough boiling water to cover. Melt the butter in a large pan and stir in the sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved then take off the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
Drain the dates and chop finely. Beat them into the melted butter along with the eggs, grated ginger and lemon zest. Sift over the flour and stir to combine then mix in the apple pieces.
Spoon the resultant batter into a 20cm (8 in) diameter cake tin that's been buttered and lined. Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 160ºC (325ºF, Gas Mark 3) and bake for about 70 minutes, or until well risen and a skewer inserted into the centre emerges with only a few moist crumbs adhering to it.
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool in the tin.
For the decoration, break the white chocolate into a heatproof bowl and melt either in the microwave or over a pan of barley-simmering water. When smooth take off the heat and set aside.
Turn the cooled cake out of its tin then trickle over the chocolate and scatter the candied lemon peel and the coffee crystals over the top. Allow the topping to set completely before slicing into wedges and serving.