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Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 185ml (3/4 cup) boiling water

  2. 180g (about 10) fresh dates, pitted, coarsely chopped

  3. 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

  4. 125g butter, at room temperature, cubed

  5. 175g (3/4 cup) caster sugar

  6. 2 eggs, at room temperature

  7. 260g (1 cup) mashed very ripe banana

  8. 2 tbs fresh lemon juice

  9. 300g (2 cups) plain flour

  10. 1 tbs baking powder Double cream or vanilla ice-cream, to serve, optional caramel sauce

  11. 400g (2 cups, firmly packed) brown sugar

  12. 300ml thickened cream

  13. 100g butter, cubed

  14. 1 tsp vanilla essence

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Method Preheat oven to 190°C. Grease a square 20cm cake pan with the melted butter and line the base with non-stick baking paper. Combine the boiling water, dates and bicarbonate of soda in a medium bowl, and mix to combine. Set aside to cool slightly. Use an electric beater to beat butter and sugar in mixing bowl until pale and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine banana and lemon juice, add to butter mixture, and stir with large metal spoon until combined. Sift together flour and baking powder in a bowl. Use the spoon to fold half the flour mixture and the butter mixture together. Stir in date mixture, then fold in remaining flour mixture. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface. Bake in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, to make the caramel sauce, combine the sugar, cream, butter and vanilla essence in a medium saucepan and stir over low heat until butter melts and the mixture is combined. Bring to the boil and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. (See microwave tip.) Slice the cake and place in serving bowls. Spoon over some warm sauce and serve immediately with cream or ice-cream if desired. (Alternatively, transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely.)

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