Recently I decided I wanted to make a cake that captured the flavours of a Sticky Toffee Pudding, a family favourite in this house. I found a recipe on another blog for a date cake, and made it - it was great - but I have gradually added to it and adapted it until I feel it's pretty much 'mine'. But of course, thus far it's all been in my head, so I felt the time had come to commit it to the long-neglected blog.
This cake is superbly easy. I love this kind of 'all in one', chuck it in the food processor kind of recipes, and the fruit content means it's always moist. It keeps well for about a week, and I have even frozen it in slices to no ill effect, ready to defrost for unexpected guests. It works well as a cake with morning coffee, afternoon tea, or warmed with custard as a pudding (a drizzle of toffee sauce on it would be perfect too). All in all a great cake to have in your baking repertoire!
Sticky Toffee Date Cake
250g dried dates
275ml boiling water
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
175g soft light brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
175g self raising flour
100g raisins or sultanas
50-100g crystallised ginger (optional, and to taste)
Pour the boiling water over 3 quarters of the dates and leave for 15 minutes or so to soften
Meanwhile chop the remaining dates - and the ginger, if using - and put aside.
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees celcius.
In a food processor, blend together the butter, sugar and dates, including the still-warm soaking water.
Add the eggs, then the flour and bicarb, and blend until smooth.
Stir in the chopped dates, chopped ginger (if using) and the raisins.
Pour the mixture into a greased and lined (well, I just line the base) 24cm round tin.
Bake for 40 minutes until firm in the middle, and the edges are slightly pulling away from the tin. I usually check it at 35 minutes, but in my oven 40 is pretty much spot on.