Monday, July 15, 2013

Sticky Toffee Pudding Date Cake

Ramadan Mubarak!

Incredibly moist cake baked with sweet smelling dates and topped with a brown sugar toffee sauce and walnuts.

Maybe sticky toffee pudding can have different textures? Because the last one I made was different. Hard to describe, but it was just softer, and you could eat it with a spoon. I was expecting this one to be just like it, but actually it baked up as a cake. Date cake. Moist, dense date cake. It was a delicious surprise. 

I was alittle unsure because the cake has no sugar added! The dates lend all their natural sugars. It was still satisfyingly sweet.

Since I was expecting sticky toffee pudding, I wanted the sauce to be, well sticky. But once you add the powdered sugar, however, it sets up right away and hardens. It was still good, and tasted like toffee, but I think something alittle gooey would be great. More like caramel and then add just alittle powdered sugar. Or maybe just put a thin layer of caramel underneath this topping.

Do you see how moist it is? You pre-cook the dates so they become soft and flavorful.

Sticky Toffee Pudding Date Cake
Recipe adapted from The English Kitchen

1 1/2 cups pitted dates, chopped (15 medjool dates)
3/4 cup water
1 tsp baking soda

Place the dates into a saucepan with water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes, gently. Make sure the water doesn't completely evaporate. Add the baking soda, and set aside to cool. It should still have water in the pan.

1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1/3 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8 inch square baking pan with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper. Make sure it hangs well over two sides so that you can just lift the bars out to cut when finished.

Place all ingredients into a medium sized bowl and mix together, until well blended. Add the date mixture and lightly blend. Do not over mix.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp light brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp heavy cream or milk
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts

To make the frosting combine the butter, brown sugar, and cream into a small sauce pan. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar. Add the powdered sugar and mix together well. Quickly spread over the cooled cake mixture and sprinkle with the toasted walnuts.

Cut into squares to serve.

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