Heat the oven to 180ºC. Chop the dates, quite coarsely, using a heavy
knife, and place them in a bowl. Sprinkle the bicarbonate of soda over
the dates and pour over the boiling water. Set aside to cool slightly.
Put the butter and sugar into a large bowl and, using an electric whisk
(or a normal whisk and a lot of elbow power), cream together until pale,
light and fluffy. Break the egg into one side of the bowl and gradually
incorporate it into the butter/sugar mixture. Beat for another minute.
Take your time over getting a really light, fluffy mixture.
Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into the mixture (hold the
sieve up high, so the dry ingredients fall from a height; this helps to
aerate the flour). Add the warm date/water mixture and very gently fold
everything together. Pour the mixture into a deep 22-cm buttered ceramic
or glass pie dish. Bake at 180ºC for 30-40 minutes, or until the cake
is well risen, dark-brown and cooked right through.
Ten minutes before the cake is ready, make the syrup. Put the water
and brown sugar in a saucepan and bring gently to the boil, stirring
frequently to dissolve the sugar crystals. When the syrup is clear,
remove from the heat and stir in the brandy, butter and vanilla extract.
Remove the cake from the oven. Pour the hot syrup, in batches, over
the hot cake, tipping the dish so that it sinks in evenly. The syrup
will bubble furiously at the edges of the dish.
Serve warm, with whipped cream.
with permission of Scrumptious South
visit Scrumptious South Africa’s
blog, click here.