Thursday, 21 June 2012

Date Sugar Sponge with Pecans

This sponge cake may be small, but it punches well above its weight in terms of taste. Making a sugary paste with the dates gives the sponge real character, with the addition of a few pecan nuts on top providing an extra dimension both in flavour and texture. I used a mini chopper to make my date paste, but if you don't have one you can mash them in a pestle and mortar and stir through the sugar after. However you decide to make it you'll be left with a fantastic little cake!

Prep time: 10 Minutes
Baking time: 40 Minutes
180g Pack of Medjool Dates (Stones removed)
50g Dark Soft Brown Sugar
150g Unsalted Butter (Softened)
2 Medium Eggs
100g Ground Almonds
50g Self Raising Flour
50g Pecan Nuts

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4, grease a 22cm loaf tin and line the base with baking paper. Blitz the dates up in a mini chopper with the sugar, until you are left with a paste, then tip it into a bowl. Vigorously cream the butter in with the paste, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Fold through the ground almonds followed by the flour, then spoon into the prepared tin. Arrange the pecans on top, then bake in the centre of the oven for 40 minutes, until a metal skewer can be cleanly removed when inserted into the middle of the cake. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 20 minutes, then turn out and leave to cool completely on a wire rack. Easy!

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