Okay, this recipe isn't one of my super quick and easy ones, but at the end of a HARD week as a Mommy, it just screams comfort food. This is one of my favorite cakes, a recipe I found during my years in England. I haven't made one this week, as given the level of stress, I might just sit and eat the whole thing myself. If you decide to make it, maybe you could just bring me 1 piece! Don't be put off by the dates. They don't really add flavor as much as they do moisture and richness.
Sticky Date and Toffee Cake
For the cake:
5 oz. chopped dates
1 tsp. baking soda
8 oz. strong coffee
5 oz. flour
2 oz. butter, chilled and cubed
2 oz. choppped walnuts
7 oz. golden caster (superfine) sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
fine sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease an 8x12 baking pan. Put the chopped dates in a bowl, add the baking soda and pour in the hot coffee. Put the flour in another bowl, tip in the cubed butter and rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Chop the nuts finely and add to the flour with the sugar, baking powder and 1/2 tsp. of salt. In another bowl, beat the egg with the vanilla extract and add to the date mixture, then tip the date mixture into the dry ingredients and beat well. Pour into the greased baking pan and bake in the pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes or until well risen and firm to the touch.
Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes while you make the topping.
2 oz. chopped walnuts
1 tsp. golden caster (superfine) sugar
1 oz. butter
4 level Tbsp. light brown sugar
4 Tbsp. whipping cream
Chop the nuts finely then heat them in a pan with the caster sugar, shaking them occasionally until they are lightly toasted. Combine the butter, brown sugar and cream in a small saucepan. Heat over a low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to a boil. Pour evenly over the cake, smoothing over the icing with a spatula, then scatter the toasted nuts on top. When the cake is completely cool, cut it into squares and serve.