With the weather so cold and blustery it would be heaven to indulge in a spot of treacle sponge pudding and custard all of the time, but alas that is not always practical. This traybake echoes the sweet deliciousness of a syrup sponge but has the added bonus of being readily available whenever a cake break is required. I've drizzled mine with lashings of golden syrup after baking, but if you want them REALLLLLLLLLLY sticky then cover the base of your tin with a thick layer of golden syrup prior to spooning in the mixture. Soooooo sticky, so sweet, so yummy!
Prep time: 25 Mins (Plus steeping time)
Baking time: 45-50 Mins
For the Dates
50g Golden Syrup
300ml Black Tea (Hot)
9 Plump and pitted Medjool Dates
For the sponge
175g Unsalted Butter (Softened)
150g Light Muscovado Sugar
3 Large Eggs
1tsp Vanilla Extract
175g Self Raising Flour
1tsp Baking Powder
25g Golden Syrup
Lashings of Golden Syrup (For drizzling)
Let's begin. For the dates mix together the hot tea and 50g of golden syrup. Halve the dates and lay over the base of a container. Pour over the sweet tea, so it comes just over halfway up the dates, then cover and leave at room temperature. After an hour turn the dates over and cover again. Repeat this act twice more, until the dates are soft and thoroughly steeped, then they are ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas
4 and line a smallish baking tin (around 27x22cm) with baking paper. In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar, then beat in the eggs on at a time along with the vanilla. Sift in the flour and baking powder, then add the golden syrup and mix to a smooth, consistent batter. Spoon the batter into your prepared tin and even to the edges.
Take a date half an press into the surface of the batter. Repeat for the rest of the dates (Don't worry if a drop or two of steeping juice comes with them!) evenly spaced apart. Place the tin in the centre of the oven for 45-50 minutes, until risen, golden brown on top and a metal skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the baked mixture. When you are happy the sponge is baked remove from the oven, leave in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out upside down onto a wire rack. Peel off the paper then drizzle all over with golden syrup. Leave to soak in for an hour, then repeat. Slice and serve and enjoy!