Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sticky Toffee Date Cake

Sticky Toffee Date Cake

1 lb. dates, pitted and chopped
2 t. baking soda
8 oz. butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 t. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
1 t. salt
3 1/4 T. baking powder

For the Sauce

1/2 lb. butter
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350º. Butter and flour two 9' round cake pans or 20 muffin tins. Place dates in large saucepan with 3 1/2 c. cold water. Bring to a boil, stirring a little to break up the dates. Then leave to simmer for a minute before removing from heat. Stir in the baking soda (it will bubble up).

Cream butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add vanilla and then the flour and salt and mix briefly to get a lumpy dough.

Next, add the warm date mixture in two batches. Scrape down sides in between mixing. The dough will be quite watery but don't worry!! Finally add the baking powder (this will also bubble).

Pour batter evenly into the pans of muffin tins. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes for the cake and 20 minutes for the muffins. A small knife or toothpick should come out clean when cake is done.

Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for a minute or two until thickened and smooth.

Remove cakes from oven and poke little holes all over with a toothpick. Pour the sauce over the cakes while both are still warm and leave to soak for about 10 minutes or until soaked down.
Turn cakes up side down onto serving platter.

I added the baking powder with the flour and salt and it made no difference. I made the cake the day before and just covered it without refrigeration. It was perfect. I served it at room temperature with whipped cream. If I had used ice cream as an accompaniment, I would probably have nuked the cake to give it a little warmth. As my daughter said, it would be a wonderful fall dessert but frankly, I would eat it anytime.

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