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
4 eggs


*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.

23 comments:

Brenda said...

Yum this looks absolutely delicious! What a great idea to puree the sultanas and dates. Great job! So spongey and moist

Y said...

I think I made something similar recently. Minus the maple syrup - though I like the idea of drizzling maple syrup over, if the cake itself isn't too sweet.

Johanna GGG said...

a pancake on steroids sounds like exactly the sort of maple syrup indulgence I would love - and I love dates in cakes - sounds great

Flourchild said...

It looks very good. I could see myself eating a slice with some coffee for breakfast!

Jill said...

It looks and sounds wonderful. I love the taste of sweet dates!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I'm loving maple in things! Plus I seem to have a huge stash that I need to use up so thanks! :D

Honey @ honeyandsoy said...

Oh yum.. this sounds really good. I think I'll just have to make it soon, as I have a bottle of maple syrup waiting to be used. :)

The Caked Crusader said...

This uses many of Mr CC's favourite flavours so I suspect i might be making this one! Lovely looking cake

Jennifer said...

What a tall beautiful cake! I love looking through cooking magazines! It is a great source for inspiration.:)

Conor @ Hold the Beef said...

Certainly looks like a keeper, think I'll have to save this recipe! I just so happen to have some delicious maple syrup sitting patiently in my pantry for such a use...

Heavenly Housewife said...

I've only tried one Donna Hay recipe and it was very successful. I love her magazine, and I love the look of this cake and the flavours. This one is right up my alley.
*kisses* HH

The Blonde Duck said...

It sounds like a waffle in cake form! Yum!

Barbara Bakes said...

Looks sweet, moist and delicious!

Sarah @ For the Love of Food said...

I've really taken to maple syrup over the last couple of years (didn't think I liked it before I had tasted the real thing instead of imitation). This looks divine and I like the idea of all the pureed dried fruit. I made a cake with maple syrup recently - flourless apple and almond but with a fair bit of maple syrup to boot. I think the maple syrup adds such a different quality of flavour to cakes in place of some of the sugar.

Gloria said...

One of my favorite ways to relax is see food magazines full of beautiful photos and read through the recipes too!! I love it!
And I really love this recipe Cakelaw.

Ellieurs said...

Thanks for posting this. I too had the Donna Hay magazine and it was purloined by a so called friend and I knew I'd seen the recipe. I'll be off to make it now. Like you I won't be using Maple syrup for the topping, but I might use a small jug of the syrup on the side for the coffee morning.

Cakelaw said...

Glad I could help Ellieurs. I am thinking about resubscribing to Donna Hay - the magazine is so beautiful with lovely recipes.

Ellieurs said...

Well Cakelaw, I've just made the cake with the help of some Maple syrup from Canadian friends that was gathering dust in their pantry, and Gluten Free Self Raising flour. It worked a treat, but I'd say in future not to put the bicarb into the dates if using a gluten free flour mix.

Cakelaw said...

Glad you got to try it - hope you can get your magazine back at some point because there were some great recipes in that edition.

Anonymous said...

I love Donna Hay! Have you ever heard of date syrup? Judging by this recipe, I bet you would love it!

Ayesha said...

Helooo Helooo

Been meaning to post for a while. I love love love this recipe. Have mae it about 5 times already I think and my mum looves it!....she's never ever actively asked me to bake something except for this cake.

So thank you so so much for introducing the cake and speaking so highly of it.

Have you tried any other recipies like this? Simple cakes with lots of flavour that I can try and woo mum with? :)

Lots of love from New Zealand

Ayesha

Cakelaw said...

Hi Ayesha, glad this cake works so well for you. I have posted an orange and date cake ( as muffins) and a raspberry and yoghurt cake which you might like to try - if interested, let me know and I will send you the links. I also have a recipe for my Mum's date loaf that I can send you, if interested.

Ayesha said...

Thank you so much replying and yes please for the recipes. You can e-mail me on kiwikuri@gmail.com. Can't wait to try em next time go home for the holidays :)