cakes and cookies

Sticky date cake drizzled with warm toffee sauce and fond memories of my sojourn to the great Southern land

August 7, 2008
How can I express my feeling after three weeks of holidaying in Australia? Definitely astounding. Mesmerizing us with its enchanting blue skies,this vast continent in the southern hemisphere is truly blessed.With surreal beaches and a vast diversity of flora and fauna to offer, the place has enough excuse to soak in outdoor activities.

It was absolutely fantastic to visit Sydney again after three years and catch up with old friends and folk,sharing some the recent happenings in one’s life.Although there were no significant changes except that I felt that prices have sky rocketed, may be the magnitude of the pinch was more evident after residing in China.

Rohan had real splash of a time and it was exciting and equally thrilling for him when he discovered that all the kids can speak in English and communication can be so easy.Staying in a country where communication is the biggest barrier,one cannot imagine how much of a relief it was to see everything clear and bold and not having to yell out for help in the supermarket.

I am always attracted to the array of journals that advertise food and the varieties of desserts in the book shops, so I had great fun in picking up a few gourmets journals that covered an arena of dishes from cross continents.My husband too surprisingly showed great interest in browsing through the bakery books that had promising recipes and he scoured through the supermarket aisle to gather all the equipment (As he prefers to call it) related to baking.

Although I was fascinated with baking at an early age but it was very much confined to baking few cookies and some sponge cakes.My baking trials and tribulations started taking its course only after an exposure to this fascinating continent.I was amazed with the varieties of dessert recipes and delectable combination of fruits and nuts that shaped a basic sponge into an healthy and fabulous dessert.

Sticky date cake is one of my favorite desserts. It is a very moist and scrumptious Australian dessert often served at parties.It is awesome when served on a chilly winter night drizzled with warm butterscotch sauce .I had made it once long back and my taste buds were glued to it since. While I was traveling I had a satisfying indulgence many a times and that revived my memories of once again opening a forgotten page of my cookbook. As a tribute to the great Australian land here is my humble contribution.

Ingredients

1 cup chopped pitted dates
1 teaspoon baking soda
40 grams butter
2/3 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 cup self raising flour
Β½ teaspoon ground mixed spice

TOFFEE SAUCE

1 cup soft brown sugar
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter

Method

Add 1 cup of water to the pitted dates in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and remove from heat. Stir in soda and let it stand for 5 minutes. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Whisk eggs and stir in flour and spice. Gently mix the batter and stir the date until combined well. Preheat the oven to 180’C and grease a loaf tin or a muffin tray. Spread the mixture and bake for 40 to 50 mins until the skewers inserted comes out clean.

Meanwhile prepare the toffee sauce. Combine all the ingredients and stir on a low fire. Care should be taken not to boil the cream as the mixture may curdle. Simmer for 2 minutes and remove from the fire.

Drizzle and serve.

PS-U can reduce the quantity of the toffee sauce by keeping the ratio same.The sauce goes well with toasted waffles or ice creams.

An alternative to eggs can be made by substituting 2 tablespoon of Golden syrup and 1/3 cup milk.

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23 Comments

  • Reply Srivalli August 7, 2008 at 9:01 am

    my lovely pictures…your son is sooo cute…and not to mention the cake..nice mold..am sure you enjoyed it

  • Reply delhibelle August 7, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    good to have u back..looks like u all had a blast. nice pics..i esp like the one of rohan feeding a baby kangaroo:)

    date cake with toffee sauce looks YUM!

  • Reply Divya August 7, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    Gosh..sorry to repeat after Valli…Great pics..Cute baby boy and yummy looking cake!!!

  • Reply Cinnamon August 7, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    Lovely pics… and so is the cake… BTW what is the size of the pan mold you used?

  • Reply Madhavi August 7, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    Welcome back :))) Awesome snaps but I mus say ur kido is so cuteeeeeee :))

    Love this date cake, will try soon!!!

  • Reply bee August 7, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    shibani, you don’t know how much i love this dessert. i had forgotten about it. thanks for the recipe. and your pics are beautiful. thanks for the virtual your.

  • Reply Cham August 7, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    Wow, you had a blast! Love the pict and the cake too πŸ™‚

  • Reply Uma August 7, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    Wow, what a trip you had! Those are some lovely pics. Your son is too cute..I like his name too!

    The cake looks so tempting. Lovely shape.

  • Reply Aparna August 7, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    I can see you all had a wonderful holiday.
    A most interesting cake recipe. Why the name sticky dates? Is it because of the dates are not the dry variety?

  • Reply sowmya August 7, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    looks like you have had a great time…the cake is fantastic!!!

  • Reply Rachel August 8, 2008 at 4:19 am

    Welcome back!

    The toffee sauce ingrdts sound very tempting…..Good one…

  • Reply Shreya August 8, 2008 at 5:47 am

    great pics! the cake looks yum!

  • Reply Kevin August 9, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    That looks so good all covered in toffee sauce!

  • Reply Vaishali August 11, 2008 at 12:12 am

    Such lovely pictures- you seem to have had a lovely trip. Your son’s so precious. I also love that date cake- gorgeous!

  • Reply Kitchen Flavours August 11, 2008 at 12:12 am

    Beautiful pics. First time here. Nice blog. I like that apple tart also and also the name of the blog any one can cook.

  • Reply Daziano August 11, 2008 at 12:12 am

    Those pictures are great! I love koalas! In Chile we had plenty of eucalyptus trees, but no koalas

  • Reply Jeena August 11, 2008 at 12:12 am

    Australia looks so beautiful! I can see you had a wonderful time.

    I love your date cake with toffee syrup it looks so so delish!

  • Reply (^oo^) bad girl (^oo^) August 11, 2008 at 6:50 am

    i like……

  • Reply Pragyan August 11, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    Hi Shibani – Delighted to see a post from you after so long! Australia pics were great..have never been there myself! Maybe someday..Rohan is so cute! Reminds me of my mischievious nephew πŸ™‚ Blessings to dear Rohan! Date cake..have to make it for R..maybe today if I have the stamina after work! Will let you know. Btw, what does the ground spice consist of? Is it All spice by any chance?

  • Reply Pearlsofeast August 11, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    Pragyan dear thanks for pointing out.It is allspice.
    Glad to see ur comment and thanks for stopping by.

  • Reply Trupti August 12, 2008 at 5:03 am

    Looks like you had great time. Nice photos. Your son is very cute. Cake looks very yummy.

  • Reply Sangeeth August 12, 2008 at 5:03 am

    great pics dear….yummy cake and cute boy!

  • Reply Divya Vikram August 15, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    Gorgeous dessert and lovely pics..

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    Yum