inspired by Dan and Gabriela in Baltasound, Shetland Islands, Scotland
For the cake:
8 oz cooking dates, stoned and finely chopped
175 ml boiling water
1 tsp vanilla
6 oz self-raising flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 oz butter, softened
5 oz demera sugar
2 tbsp black treacle
100 ml milk
For the toffee sauce (aka the best part):
6 oz light muscovado sugar
2 oz butter
225 ml heavy cream
1 tbsp black treacle
Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter an 8″ x 8″ x 2 1/2″ square baking dish and dust lightly with flour.
Put the chopped dates into a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for about 20 minutes to swell and soften. Once soft, add the vanilla to the bowl. Set aside.
Sieve flour and baking soda into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Little by little, add the beaten eggs, mixing well between additions. Add treacle and beat well. Using a large spoon, carefully fold in one third of the flour, then carefully stir in one third of the milk. Repeat until all the milk and flour has been added. Add the chopped dates (and any remaining liquid in the bowl) to the batter and stir gently.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake 45-50 minutes. Cake should be raised and firm to the touch. Let cool 10 minutes before turning it out.
Toffee Sauce Preparation:
Over medium heat, melt the butter, sugar, and half the cream in a saucepan. Add the treacle and allow the sauce to bubble for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and leave to cool for 1 minute then stir in the remaining cream.
Serve cake with generous helpings of toffee sauce. Also great with custard or ice cream as well!