It's winter here. It's chilly. Perfect for this:
I'm afraid we were on to the second bottle of shiraz voigner when I took the pictures so they are slightly squiffy. Those aren't my hands
Yes, I know there are dozens of recipes and versions out there but this one works for me. It works so well I will take it to a secluded corner and eat it all from the tin if I'm alone. As I consequence I only make it when I have Company.
I first made this in November 1999 when I was obsessed with the Sainsbury's Magazine. It was all coriander and olives and puy lentils and a nascent Nigel Slater and a very posh Lorna Wing and adverts for Twinnings Fruit Teas. This recipe is by Sue Lawrence who won Masterchef in 1991. Back in the days of Lloyd Grossman and guests like Penelope Keith no-one shouted about it being Tough and Real and none of the contestants broke more than a few beads of polite persperation, even when the big green capsicum flashed on screen. sue lawrence titles Sue, it really is a winner of a recipe, thank you. Clearly they don't call you "The Queen of Scottish Baking" for nothing.
RECIPE for STICKY TOFFEE DATE CAKE
175g stoned dates, chopped
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
250ml boiling water
1 teaspoon - can I start putting tsp in now as the abbreviation? Would we all be cool wit that? - vanilla extract
175g light brown or plain granulated sugar
1 egg beaten
175g plain flour sifted with
1 tsp baking powder
and for the sauce:
150g brown sugar, the darker the better
120ml double cream.
pre-heat oven to 180 degrees
1. Line a 7 inch loose bottomed cake tine with a circle of baking parchment
2. Place dates and bicarb in a pan and pour on the boiling water and heat gently for 5 minutes.
3. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until melted
4. Add the vanilla, sugar, egg, flour and baking powder and stir well.
5. Pour in to the lined tin and place on a baking sheet and then in to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes
6. Meanwhile make the sauce by heating all the ingredients together in a pan. Let them bubble for 3 minutes while stirring. Pour onto the cake and bake for a further 20 minutes. Do use a timer.
7. Leave to cool in the tin and serve when still slightly warm.
8. Prepare modest face for ensuing compliments.
To serve, best vanilla ice cream. In this picture I served a side of Butterscotch Angel Delight on account of wanting to share my culture with the Australians. They didn't get it.
Mandarines, dark chocolate and walnuts finish off the flavours well at the end of the meal, the main course of which was pork sausages, mash, kale and garlic and onion gravy.