Special equipment: 8- by 3-inch round springform pan
Coarsely chop the dates in a food processor. Transfer to a 32-ounce jar. Add the brandy, pistachios and ginger. Seal, and then shake until well combined. Store the mixture in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight for 3 days, shaking once a day. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Spray an 8- by 3-inch round springform pan with cooking spray and line the bottom and sides with wax paper. Have the wax paper go a little taller than the sides of the pan.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cardamom and coriander (if using), and reserve. In a stand mixer, or using a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Gradually whisk in the eggs, one at a time, beating in between additions, until combined. Add the molasses, vanilla extract, salt and brandied fruit mixture, and gently beat until well combined. Add the sifted flour mixture, a little at a time. When it is all mixed in, beat at high speed for about 10 seconds. Pour into the prepared springform pan.
Place a metal brownie pan on the floor of your oven. Fill with water; this will keep your cake moist. Pop the cake into the middle of your oven, and cook for 3 to 3 1/4 hours, turning once halfway through. You'll know the cake is cooked when a skewer pushed into the center of the cake, all the way to the bottom, comes out clean.
Remove from the oven, and allow to rest in the pan on a cooling rack. Once completely cool, remove the cake from the pan, but keep covered in the wax paper to keep moist.
To serve: Make a snowflake out of a piece of paper like you did in primary school (you can also use a doily for this). Place it gently on top of the cake. Spoon a little powdered sugar in a strainer and dust the surface of the cake. Remove the paper to reveal a powdered sugar snowflake. You can serve with a dollop of whipped cream and minced pistachios too if you like.
Cake is best 3 days after baking.
Recipe courtesy of Aarti Sequeira