A little something that should be in everyone’s back pocket this Christmas season! Rich and delicious and divine! Borrowed from Anna Olson, this is absolutely a dessert that could be whipped up on a weeknight, but would really be best with company – enjoy!
2 c. (300 g) chopped, pitted dates AND 1 c. boiling water AND 3/4 t. (4 g) baking soda
1/4 c. (60 g) butter, softened AND 3/4 c. (150 g) sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 c. (185 g) flour AND 1 1/2 t. (4.5 g) baking powder AND 1/4 t. salt AND a pinch of ground cloves
1 c. whipping cream AND 1 c. (200 g) packed dark brown sugar
2 T. honey AND 1/4 c. brandy (or whisky)
Preheat the oven to 350, butter an 8 x 8 cake pan, line it with parchment so there are 2 overhanging sides for handles, and butter the parchment.
Pour the boiling water over the chopped dates in a large heatproof bowl, then stir in the baking soda. The mix will bubble and froth, this is normal – set this aside until it’s lukewarm.
Cream the butter and sugar together – by hand – in a separate large bowl, the mixture will be sandy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well with a stiff spatula or wooden spoon after each addition. Stir in the flour, baking powder, salt and cloves, then add in the date mix, including all of the water, and stir well. The batter will be very light in color and quite thin. Pour and scrape the batter into your prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes until the middle is set and bounces back to a light touch.
Allow the cake to cool while you make the sauce (unless you’ve prepared it ahead).
To prepare the sauce, add the whipping cream, brown sugar and honey to a medium pot and whisk over medium heat while bringing the mix to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and gently boil for a couple of minutes until it thickens up a bit. Whisk in the brandy (or whisky) and simmer another quick minute. Either keep the sauce warm to serve it or gently warm it on low in the microwave for serving if you’ve made it ahead.
To serve, feel free to let everyone pour their own sauce! But we highly recommend pouring a little bit on the plate, adding a toffee pudding cake slice, then drizzling more sauce overtop.