To begin, boil some water on the stove while you chop your dates.
Add the chopped dates to a medium bowl and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon baking soda. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the top of your dates and stir it all together. Set aside to stew.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-cup bundt pan
very well; butter your fingers and rub it down, making sure to get in all the crevices. Or use a good can of nonstick spray. Be generous.
Add a tablespoon or so of flour to the greased bundt pan. Tilt the pan and shake over the sink until the entire inside of the pan is coated. Set aside.
In a large microwave bowl, 1/2 cup melt butter. (Or melt in a small bowl and transfer to your stand mixer; that's what I did.)
Beat in 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup molasses, and 1 teaspoon fresh ginger.*
Add the 3 eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg.
Add 2 cups of flour, but do not mix it in. Use a small spoon to stir the baking powder and salt into the flour. Then beat into the batter until barely combined, scraping the sides and bottom.
By now your date mixture should be thick and chunky. See photos. Add it to the batter.
Stir until barely combined. Fold in the chopped crystallized ginger. You don't have to add the full amount, and in fact you don't have to add any at all if you don't love ginger. I think it's so good though!
Bake at 350 for about 33-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with no batter on it. The top should be firm.
Let the cake rest in the pan for 10 minutes, then use a knife to loosen the edges and invert onto a cooling rack. Let cool another 10-20 minutes, until the cake has firmed a bit but is still warm.
Meanwhile, make the sauce (or the "sticky toffee" as it's called). In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup molasses, and 1 cup cream. Melt over medium low heat. Stir occasionally until bubbles appear in the center. Continue cooking at a low simmer for about 15 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and set somewhere cool so that it can continue to thicken. If your cake is almost done, you might want to even put it in the fridge or freezer so that it has more time to thicken.
After the cake is out of the pan, use a toothpick to poke holes all over the rounded top and sides of the cake.
Wipe out the bundt pan if there is not much residue, or wash in entirely and re-grease.
Add about 1/3 of the sauce to the bottom of the bundt pan. Carefully invert the cake back into the pan. (This may involve spilling a bit of the sauce. The thicker your sauce, the easier it will be.)
Use toothpicks to poke holes all over the bottom (flat side) of the cake. Pour about half of the remaining sauce over the top. Let the cake sit and soak up the sauce for about 10-20 minutes.
Invert the cake onto a cooling rack again. (Make sure you do it over a baking sheet or something, to catch any drips.)
Sprinkle the cake with raw sugar
for a bit of crunch.
Serve the cake warm with the remaining sauce.
This cake is delicious served with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream!