Now which book are we talking about.Yes,it is Marcy Goldman's book A Passion for Baking,I own it now,don't you remember?
I set about making it,and I had planned to follow the recipe to the T,but as usual,made some minor changes which definitely did not hinder the taste of the cake and in fact,I felt it only improved the final product.I have added the changes I made in brackets.
Sticky Dates Toffee Cake with Hot Toffee Sauce
Recipe source - A Passion for Baking by Marcy Goldman
Pitted Dates - 1 1/2 cups
Water - 1 1/2 cups
Vanilla extract - 4 tsp
Baking soda - 1 tsp
Unsalted Butter - 1/2 cup,softened
Brown sugar,firmly packed - 1 cup
Sugar* - 1/4 cup [I substituted the brown sugar with regular sugar,so totally 1 1/4 cups of white sugar]
Grated Orange Zest - 2 tsp
Eggs - 3,room temperature
Flour - 2 cups
Baking powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
For the Hot Toffee Sauce
Brown sugar - 3/4 cup firmly packed**
Butter - 1/2 cup,I used only 50 gms
Whipping cream - 1 cup
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Pre-heat oven to 350F / 180C.
Grease a 9' springform cake pan or a regular pan and line the bottom as well as the sides.
In a saucepan, simmer dates in water and vanilla until they are soft and almost mushy (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. The mixture will foam a bit. Mix well and set aside to cool completely.
In a bowl, cream butter with both sugars and orange zest until fluffy***.
Blend in eggs and then fold in flour, baking powder and salt.
Then add the dates and mix until well combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until done and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
To make the Hot Toffee Sauce
Bring brown sugar, cream and butter to a gentle boil and let simmer for 5-7 mins until the mixture thickens. Remove from fire and stir in vanilla. Set aside.
Once the cake is done, when its still warm, poke holes with a skewer and pour the sauce over, allowing the cake to absorb it. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
- *Since I used white sugar for the cake,the cake lacks the Golden color.But let me assure you,the taste is not one bit compromised.
- **I used white sugar for the toffee sauce too hence followed a different method to achieve the golden color.
Now add the cream and stir until everything comes together.
Stir in the vanilla.
- ***Following Dorie Greenspan's method,I rubbed the Orange zest into the sugar until the sugar was moist and fragrant and then added it into the butter for creaming.This method ensures perfect distribution of zest throughout and along with the flavor of Dates,the Orangey taste stands out too.
- Wait for the cake to cool down a bit before cutting to get neat slices[in short,don't be like me!].Another tip is to refrigerate the cake for a while until it starts setting a bit and then cut it to get pretty slices.
- Do not miss out on the Toffee sauce,I feel it is the sauce which takes the cake to a completely different level
On a completely different note,my recipe of Palak Pathrodo was featured in Vanitha[March 1-14] edition and I am so happy about it.Just thought I'd share the excitement with you!