With the nights drawing in, the days becoming ever shorter and the weather taking a turn for the tempestuous there's no better time to sit down in a big comfy chair and indulge a big comfy slice of cake. This beauty is sweet, satisfying and gloriously gratifying, with a deep maple flavour and a soft, almost syrupy texture. It's one of those cakes that may seem a little unassuming, maybe even uninspired but I promise you it will knock your socks off. So when the dark and dull days are getting you down why not escape into the kitchen for a little cake therapy? Baking always brightens up my day!
Prep time: 20 Mins
Baking time: 60 Mins
185g Unsalted Butter (Softened)
50g Light Muscovado Sugar
3 Large Eggs (Beaten)
1tsp Vanilla Extract
175g Maple Syrup
200g Plain Flour
1tsp Baking Powder
220g Pitted Medjool Dates (Chopped)
155g Maple Syrup (To drizzle at the end)
Cake time! Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3, grease a 20cm deep, loose bottomed tin and line the base with baking paper. In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and the sugar, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Pour in the vanilla and 175g of the maple syrup, sift in the plain flour and baking powder then mix to a smooth consistent batter. Finally, fold through the chopped dates.
Carefully spoon the cake mixture into your prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for around 60 minutes, until golden on top and a metal skewer can be cleanly removed when inserted into the middle of the cake. When you are happy the cake is baked remove it from the oven, leave in the tin for around ten minutes, then carefully turn out onto a wire rack with a plate underneath. Remember to peel off the paper from the base of the cake!
Pierce the top of the cake all over with a sharp knife or skewer then brush over some of the maple syrup. Leave for ten minutes to soak in, then brush over some more of the syrup. Keep doing this until you've used all of the remaining maple syrup and that's the cake all finished. Well done!