How to make it

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Butter and flour two 9-inch-round cake pans or 20 muffin tins.
  • Place the dates in large saucepan with 3 1/2 cups cold water.
  • Bring to boil, stirring a little to break up the dates.
  • (I used a hand held stick blender to break them up more )
  • Then leave to simmer for 1 minute before removing from the heat.
  • Stir in the baking soda (which will cause the mixture to bubble up).
  • Cream the butter and sugar together in a food mixer until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, occasionally scraping down mixing bowl.
  • Add the vanilla extract and then the flour and salt and mix briefly to give a lumpy dough.
  • Next, add the warm date mixture in two batches.
  • Scrape down the sides of bowl in between mixing.
  • The dough will now be quite watery but don't worry!
  • Finally add the baking powder (this will bubble up also).
  • Pour the batter evenly into the two pans or muffin tins.
  • Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes for cake pans and about 20 minutes for muffin tins.
  • Test if they are cooked with a small knife or toothpick, it should come out clean when cakes are done.
  • Meanwhile, to make the sauce, combine the butter, brown sugar, heavy cream and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan.
  • Bring to boil and then reduce to simmer gently for a minute or two until thickened and well blended.
  • When the cakes are done, poke little holes all over with toothpick, this will enable the sauce to be absorbed more easily.
  • Pour the caramel sauce over cakes while both are still warm and leave to soak for about 10 minutes.
  • Turn the cakes out upside-down onto serving plates (the bottom is the most sticky bit!).
  • Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
  • My note: I baked this as one cake in a larger spring form pan
  • I removed the sides , poked holes in the cake and poured on the sauce,
  • I had some extra sauce left over.
  • The sauce will firm up a bit but still remain soft
  • Whipped cream rosettes would be my garnish of choice

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