Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a 12-cup muffin pan, or spray it with non-stick cooking spray.
Place the dates in a small saucepan and add 250ml water. Bring it to the boil and add the bicarbonate of soda and 60ml (60g) of the butter. Stir until the butter has melted, then remove it from the heat. Allow it to cool.
Sift the self-raising flour into a large mixing bowl and stir in the castor sugar. Beat the eggs and the vanilla essence.
Place the date mixture in a food processor and process until it forms a rough paste. Add this to the egg mixture and stir until it has mixed. Add this mixture to the flour and, once again, stir until it is just mixed. Pour the mixture into the cups of the muffin pan and bake the muffins for 20 minutes.
Prepare the sauce:
While the muffins are baking, heat the remaining butter, brown sugar, syrup and cream in a saucepan over a low heat. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Allow it to simmer for a few minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly, then remove it from the heat and allow it to cool.
Remove the muffins from the pan and serve them with the toffee sauce.
Words and image: Home magazine
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