- 200g pitted dates
- 200ml milk
- ½ a lemon
- 2 apples
- 250g butter or margarine
- 280g self-raising flour
- 200g light soft brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 5 medium eggs
- 10g ground mixed spice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 10g icing sugar
For the toffee sauce
- 50g light soft brown sugar
- 50g butter
- 2 tbsp double cream
To prevent the apple slices from over-browning you can gently place a disc of parchment paper over the top of the cake after 40 minutes of baking.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan/gas mark 4). Grease and line a 23cm springform tin.
Put the dates into a saucepan with the milk, place on a medium heat and bring to the boil. Immediately reduce to a simmer and cook for 2–3 minutes until the dates are soft, then remove from the heat.
Use a blender or food processor to blend the dates and milk until smooth, then set aside.
Juice half a lemon, then put the juice in a bowl. Quarter the apples, remove the core, then finely slice. Put the apple slices in the bowl with the lemon juice and toss to coat.
Place the butter or margarine, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, eggs, mixed spice and vanilla extract into a bowl.
Add the pureed date mixture, then beat until light and fluffy.
Pour the mixture into the cake tin. Arrange the apple slices on the top, neatly overlapping them.
Put the cake into the oven and cook for 1 hour–1 hour 10 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove and set aside to cool.
Dust the cooled cake with icing sugar.
For the toffee sauce
Place the light brown sugar, butter and double cream in a pan over a medium heat. Once melted, increase the heat and boil for around 1 minute, until the sauce thickens slightly.
Drizzle the sauce over the cake, allowing some to run down the sides.
Leave until cool, then cut into portions.
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