This cake is autumn in edible form. The first time I made this was for a university cake competition 2 years ago and it’s now my go-to, impress-your-friends layer cake.
- 150g chopped dates
- 150ml cloudy apple juice
- 350g unsalted butter
- 300g light brown sugar
- 350g self-raising flour
- 6 eggs
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of mixed spice
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 100g chopped walnuts
PREHEAT OVEN 180˚C
- Grease and line 3 small round cake tins (if you haven’t got 3.. do rotations)
- Heat the apple juice (either over a hob or in the microwave), you need it to be near boiling. Add the chopped dates and soak for 5 minutes. Then blend to a puree.
- Add the butter, sugar and eggs to a large bowl. Sift in the flour spices and baking powder and whisk. (Yep, it’s an all-in-one.. if you prefer to cream the butter and sugar first, go right on ahead, it’s a recipe not a rule book!)
- Fold in the purred dates and chopped walnuts.
- Divide the batter between the tins and bake for 20 – 25 mins.
Toffee icing (optional.. but delicious. Really, you’d be a fool to go with regular buttercream)… First you need to make your toffee/ caramel. To do that you need 175g of granulated sugar, heat it in a saucepan with about 3 tablespoons of water on a low temperature. Increase the temperature GRADUALLY until it starts to bubble and sugar is golden. Remove from the heat. Add 175g of double cream GRADUALLY!!!! Return to heat, add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and allow to bubble for no more than 30 seconds. Allow to cool… fully.. before adding 250g of unsalted butter and 175g of icing sugar – whisk until it looks like icing!
Put the cake together. And decorate how you like, you could top with a caramel sauce, chopped walnuts and some dried apple slices, like I did with this one, or go the whole hog and try your hand at spun sugar (just try not to make a mess of the whole kitchen, I’m speaking from experience…).