Photo by Zsolt: zsoltsandor.com
Everybody loves a slice of cake now and again, right? Cake’s great. What’s not so wonderful is all the refined sugar that most cakes contain. So when we discovered date syrup, we were in seventh heaven. It’s 100% natural, made of nothing but dates and, well, you could say it’s like sunshine in a jar. It’s great with porridge and, we have now discovered, brilliant for cake making.
Natural sugars are still sugars, of course, so you don’t want to be eating these cake slices for breakfast, dinner and tea. They’re definitely one of the best treats around, though. They’re great with a cuppa when you’re having some down time. They’re light (in weight) but a good energy source too, so perfect in your backpack on a hike or an all-day run. They’re great for lunch boxes too – and you know much we love a lunch box…
Date and Sultana Cake
Makes about 12
150g dates, chopped
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (called baking soda in some countries)
250g wholemeal self raising flour
90g butter, softened
4 tablespoons date syrup
1 and a half teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 Preheat the oven to 170C / 160 Fan / 325F / Gas 3.
2 Line a shallow baking tray with baking paper (parchment).
3 Place the chopped dates and sultanas in a pan with the water. Bring to the boil then remove from the heat. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda (it will bubble and fizz – don’t worry, this is normal!) Set aside to cool.
3 Beat the butter with the date syrup until blended.
4 Slowly add the beaten eggs and vanilla extract, then fold in the flour.
5 Add the date mixture bit by bit, blending well before adding more.
6 Cook for 25-30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Cut in to slices.
Serve warm with half-fat cream fraiche and more date syrup for dessert or cold on their own for as a sweet snack.