6 oz of pitted dates
1 tsp of baking soda
1.25 cups of boiling water
1 tsp of soy sauce (optional)
2 oz of butter ( ½ stick of butter)
2 Tbsp of Ovaltine (optional)
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp of granulated sugar
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp of dark brown sugar
⅛ tsp of white pepper (optional)
⅛ tsp of dried ginger
⅛ tsp of cinnamon
pinch of cloves
2 room temperature eggs, beaten
1.25 cups of All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp of baking powder
Toffee Sauce Ingredients
4 oz of butter (1 stick)
¾ cup of dark brown sugar
½ cup of heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Put the dates, baking soda, and soy sauce in the boiling water and let soak until the dates soften. (I usually let mine sit overnight in the fridge)
Puree the dates in a blender or food processor when the dates become soft.
Mix the Ovaltine, white pepper, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves into the granulated sugar until uniform.
Beat the butter with the sugar-spice mixture and brown sugar until it lightens in color (about 4-5 minutes on medium high speed)
While the creaming the butter with the sugar, mix the baking powder and AP flour together until fully mixed.
Slow down the mixer to medium low and add the beaten eggs slowly making sure that the mixture becomes as uniform as possible.
With the mixer on medium low speed, slowly add the flour-baking powder mixture in a couple of additions and mix until uniform.
Fold the date puree into the batter in three additions.
Pour the batter into a buttered oven-proof dish ( I use a Pyrex bowl that is 8 inches in diameter and 3 inches deep)
Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes.
Poke the middle of a cake with a skewer to test for doneness. If it does not come out clean, bake the cake longer.
When the cake has cooled enough, cover the cake with foil or plastic wrap to make sure that moisture does not escape.
Toffee Sauce Method
Heat the butter and brown sugar on low heat until the butter melts.
When the butter has melted, add the cream and bring to a simmer.
Let the toffee sauce simmer for 4-5 minutes.
Take the sauce off the heat and serve over the cake with whipping cream, creme fraiche, or vanilla ice cream
The soy sauce is optional. (I can’t help it--I’m Chinese and I love soy sauce.) The white pepper and Ovaltine are also optional. I just like to amp up the flavor a little bit. Feel free to experiment with the spice mixture.
The cake tastes best if left covered overnight so that the cake becomes more moist. To serve, I cut a piece from the cake and microwave it for 30 seconds. I usually serve with toffee sauce and heavy cream on the side, so people can choose how much sauce and cream they want to pour on top.