Warm date cake with pecan caramel sauce
230g caster sugar
185g unsalted butter, at room temperature
190g self-raising flour
1½tsp vanilla essence
1 heaped tsp baking powder 75ml milk
250g fresh Medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
For the pecan caramel sauce
300g dark brown sugar 50g butter
300ml whipping cream 1tbsp pecans, chopped 1tsp vanilla essence ice cream, to serve
23cm round cake tin
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/ Gas 4. Line the cake tin with baking paper. Place the sugar, butter, eggs, flour, vanilla essence, baking powder, milk and 150ml water in a food processor for 15 seconds or until well combined. Add the dates and process for a further 30 seconds, or until the dates are finely chopped and well distributed through the batter, scraping down the sides halfway through. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 1 hour or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Meanwhile, make the pecan caramel sauce. Place the sugar, butter, cream, pecans and vanilla essence in a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring until it is well-combined.
Remove the cake from the tin and pour over the sauce. Serve warm with ice cream.