After school date cake
Not a cake for a ‘date’ but a cake with dates! I needed something for afternoon tea for my kids. Swimming lessons after school so they needed something for an energy boost. Not enough time to make anything complicated and the usual challenge of no chocolate since Sam does not like it, no nuts since Tara’s friend is highly allergic and she won’t take anything with nuts to school so she does not harm her friend. What to make in a hurry that they will both like? Well, we all love sticky date pudding so I used that as my starting point. More cake-like and healthier. It turned out so well that I will be making it again. As soon as Tara took a bite she asked if I remembered what I put in it and told me to write it down straight away. So here I am, writing it on my phone while the kids have their swimming lessons.
1/2 cup water
150gm unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2tbs golden syrup
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup milk
1.5 cups plain flour
Cook the dates in the water until they are soft and jammy. You may need to add more water. Add the butter and allow it to melt. Take it off the heat. Ad the baking soda and stir well until the mixture gets a little frothy. Add in the eggs and sugar and mix well. Add the milk and flour and ate until just combined. Pour into a baking tin lined with baking paper. Bake at 180C for 20-30 minutes.
Update: I have made this cake many times since – it is a great standby cake, super simple to make and much loved by all who try it. Easy to throw together in five minutes, with butter straight from the fridge (no softening of butter required – why does that drive me nuts?!). It is relatively healthy too since it is not laden with sugar and butter. My kids take big chunks of it to school.
I even made it as a bit slab cake for a kids music camp and topped it with icing to make it fancier. I used brown sugar (not recommended – too ‘gritty’) and golden syrup in the icing while trying to hint at the taste of the caramel sauce that goes with sticky date pudding. I had to whip it for a very long time to overcome the brown sugar grittiness, and next time I would melt it with the butter before adding it in. It did taste great though and was very popular with the kids.