Tuesday, 1 April 2014

An Oldie but a Goldie - Sticky Date and Pear Cake

This is definately not an everyday dessert and perhaps considered a bit passe,  however it is a nice dessert every now and then. I use this recipe and muffin tins to make muffins/individual puddings but mostly make it into a large cake. If  I make the cake version I arrange pear quarters decoratively, either fresh or tinned, over the surface. For the individual I put a slice of pear into the muffin / individual puddings. The caramel sauce can be made in the microwave using a large microwaveable jug.  Leftover cake, sliced into individual portions or the muffins freeze well. I usually freeze a few small containers of the caramel sauce so that I have an easy dessert for one.

Sticky Date and Pear Cake             

1 1/4 cups water
250 g chopped dates
90 g butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups plain flour
2 tablespoons glace ginger finely chopped

Place water, dates, butter, sugar and ginger if using  in a medium to large saucepan  and bring the mixture slowly to the boil, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat. Stir in the soda, mix well and cool until the mixture is lukewarm. I do it with the electric beaters.

When coolish add egg, vanilla and flour, stir until combined or mix with beaters on low setting.

Spoon mixture evenly into greased and lined springform pan or prepared tin/muffin tins. Arrange pear quarters on the cake.

Bake 170 deg C for until golden brown and cooked in the middle.
Test in the middle with a skewer, it should come out clean. Cooking times will vary according to size of tins, muffins cook quicker a cake will take longer. As a guide the cake will take at least 40 minutes. If the cake is getting too brown reduce oven temperature and cover with foil.

Serve puddings with caramel sauce and cream or ice-cream.

Caramel Sauce
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup or 300 ml bottle cream, light cream can be used
125 g butter
1 - 2 tsp vanilla essence
cream or ice-cream to serve

Place the sugar, cream, butter and vanilla in a small pan
Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes.

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