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Sticky Toffee Date Cake – or the reason we have a microwave

April 11, 2012

Jess gave me the recipe for this cake years ago. I’ve adapted it of course and I’ve got rid of the camp coffee that it called for and not just because of the embarrassment of buying the stuff in the shops; I realise don’t like chicory.

This cake is a bit of a faff to make though so I don’t make it too often – a good thing  because it’s delicious and you can eat loads of it.

Chop 4oz dates and put then in a small saucepan. Cover them with about a cup of hot black coffee (I use real coffee, but you could make up some camp coffee and pour it over…) and leave to soak for 5 minutes. Then cook slowly stirring occasionally until the dates go mushy. If they get too dry add some water – it needs to be a bit slushy. Leave to cool.

In a mixing bowl put 3oz soft butter and 5oz soft brown sugar and beat until pale. Add the whites of two eggs and beat, and then add the yolks. Fold in 6oz self raising flour and the dates  – as long as they’re cool enough.  Spoon into a greased and floured pan (about 8″x11″ ) and level the top – maybe even make a bit of a shallow hollow as you want the final cake to be as flat as possible. Bake for about 30 minutes  –  at about180c.

While the cake’s cooking you need to make the topping. Put 3oz soft brown sugar and 2oz butter in a pan and slowly heat until the butter’s melted and the sugar’s on its way to dissolving. Add a tablespoon of water and stir the mixture until the sugar has all dissolved. This is important or the topping will be gritty. Add three tablespoons of double cream and keep stirring. Keep stirring as the mixture bubbles for a minute or so and then remove from the heat. By this time the cake should be about done.
As soon as the cake is ready, pour the topping over it and be ready to spoon it back to the middle if it starts to fall down the sides. The topping will set, but as the cake is so good eaten warm it often doesn’t get a chance to. It’s best if you can let it set  because the topping stays on the cake when it’s cut instead of sliding down the sides.
If ever you thought about ditching  the microwave, this is the reason to keep it – to warm the cake up that little bit to return it to that just baked  puddingy springiness. Otherwise you’ll end up eating it all in one sitting. Lovely with cream.
Liz had her baby today. Welcome to the world smallest Reid! 🙂

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