Spiced sticky date, caramel and star anise cakes

Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - FOOD FESTIVE BAKES -


400g fresh dates, pit­ted and chopped

375ml boil­ing wa­ter

1½ tsp bi­car­bon­ate of soda

150g un­salted but­ter, chopped

170g brown su­gar

3 medium eggs

225g self-raising flour 2

tsp ground cin­na­mon

2 tsp mixed spice

400g store-bought dulce de leche (caramel) star anise, for dec­o­rat­ing

★ Pre­heat oven to 160C/gas 2½. Line 2 x 12cm lightly greased round cake tins with non­stick bak­ing pa­per, al­low­ing an ex­tra 2cm of pa­per to over­hang at the top of each tin. Place the dates, wa­ter and bi­car­bon­ate of soda in a medium heat­proof bowl and set aside for 10 min­utes to soften slightly.

★ Place the date mix­ture, but­ter and su­gar in a food pro­ces­sor and process un­til well com­bined. Add the eggs, flour, cin­na­mon and mixed spice and process un­til just com­bined. Di­vide the mix­ture be­tween the pre­pared tins. Cook for 55-60 min­utes or un­til cooked when tested with a skewer. Al­low to cool in the tins for 10 min­utes be­fore turn­ing out on to a wire rack to cool com­pletely.

★ Trim the top off each cake and place each on a cake stand. Us­ing a small pal­ette knife, spread the dulce de leche around the top and sides of the cakes. Dec­o­rate the tops with star anise. NOTE Re­move the star anise be­fore eat­ing.

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