Ramadan is the season for dates, so I wanted to make something that would include this local favourite. We love dessert at Tania’s Teahouse, so I wanted to create something standout and after many tests I eventually came up with our limited edition, Sticky Date Cake with Toffee Sauce. I love this recipe so much because it is a comfort food and reminds me of festive times; a time to get together with loved ones to enjoy a cake that is seasonal. We decided to add this dish during Ramadan menu because it goes well with the restaurant’s ambience, which is warm and welcoming.
The reason why this recipe is fun to make at home is because it’s very versatile. You can try making my original recipe and then once you have it mastered, you can then experiment by adding other ingredients such as nuts, chocolate and fruits. Surprisingly, the Sticky Date Cake is a sweeter option than chocolate cake but a lighter texture (so you can enjoy more of it!). It’s also really easy and fun to make so you can get your kids involved. If you’re planning to serve it at a dinner party or just at home with your family add some extra flair by leaving the toffee sauce on the side then make a show of drizzling it on top tableside. Finally, remember now that it’s getting hot outside you may need a little scoop of ice cream on top just to cool you down ... chef’s orders!
How to make it (Recipe makes 10-12)
Cooking time 15-20 minutes
- 225g pitted dates
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 200ml boiling water
- 85g soft butter
- 130g caster sugar
- 2 pcs eggs
- 160g all purpose flour
- 10g baking powder
- ½ tsp 7 spice
- ½ tsp cinnamon powder
- 30ml cream
- Toffee sauce
- 115g brown sugar
- 115g butter
- 150ml cream
1. Preheat oven to 180⁰C. Grease your ramekins or cupcake tins with butter.
2. Place the pitted dates and bicarbonate of soda in a heat proof bowl. Pour over the boiling water. Let it stand for 5 to 10 minutes or until soft, drain and mash the dates using a fork.
3. In a separate bowl, place the soft butter and caster sugar, beat until well combined and smooth.
4. Add the eggs one at a time and continue beating well after each addition.
5. Add the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, 7 spice and cinnamon powder). Mix well until everything is well incorporated.
6. Fold the cream and mashed dates to the mixture.
7. Spoon mixture into the greased ramekins and bake for 15 -20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
8. For the sauce, gently heat the cream in a pan. Add the sugar and butter and whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let it simmer in low heat until thick in consistency.
9. To serve, turn the cake out onto a plate, drizzle with toffee sauce on top.
— Karen Santos is the head chef at Tania’s Teahouse, Dubai.