Sunday, August 8, 2010
Maple and date syrup cake
One of my favourite ways to relax is to sit down with a food magazine full of beautiful photos and read through the recipes. If a recipe is well written and beautifully photographed, you can almost taste the dish without even making it.
Unfortunately, I am never as diligent about making recipes out of the food magazines that I subscribe to. However, I was flicking through my friend Craig's May 2010 edition of Donna Hay magazine, and found a wonderful selection of maple syrup dishes. The meatloaf that I made a while ago was one of these recipes. However, I took note of a few more recipes to make at a later date.
One of these recipes was a maple and date syrup cake, on p84. This golden spongy cake is topped with warm maple syrup, like pancakes on steroids. I decided to make this cake for work, hence skipped the maple syrup on top, but it absolutely delicious without. The cake is surprisingly light, despite the pureed dates and sultans that it contains, and is just the right level of sweetness for my taste.
It doesn't matter if you hate sultanas or raisins in baked goods - they are pureed, so add sweetness and texture without being noticeable in the final cake.
Here is a peek inside the cake, which reveals its sponge-like texture:
To make this cake, you will need:
1 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup sultanas (I used raisins)
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3/4 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cups sifted self-raising flour*
3/4 cup brown sugar
150g melted butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*Or add 3 teaspoons baking powder to 1 1/2 cups plain flour, like I did.
Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius, and grease and line a 9" inch cake pan. Put the dates, sultanas and bicarb of soda into a medium bowl, pour over the boiling water, stir it to combine, then leave it sit for 10 minutes. Next, puree the softened fruit using a food processor or blender, and set aside.
Combine the flour and sugar in a large bowl, then add the melted butter, syrup, vanilla, eggs and pureed fruit, and mix well together to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, then bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes or until cooked through.
Remove the baked cake from the oven, and allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning it onto a wire rack to cool completely.
If you like, you can serve the cake as is, or as Donna suggested, smothered with warmed maple syrup. Either way, it is a delicious cake, and a keeper in my books.