I always seem to detect coffee when I eat sticky toffee pudding so, being a coffee lover, I decided to add coffee to a cake based on the pudding. If you feel you won’t like that, use freshly brewed tea instead. This is definitely a cake to come home to after a long, cold walk – more for the afternoon with tea or coffee, rather than a pudding.
Prep time: 30 minutes, plus cooling time
Cook time: 1 hour 10 minutes
10 or more (you don’t want big slices)
For the cake
200g pitted medjool dates, chopped
235ml strong coffee
125g butter, plus extra for greasing the tin
250g self-raising flour, plus extra for flouring the tin
200g dark muscovado sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp treacle
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
70g walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped, to decorate
For the toffee glaze
100ml double cream
70g soft light-brown sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
2 tsp treacle
Put the dates in a saucepan and add the coffee. Bring to the boil then take off the heat. Leave for 30 minutes.
Butter and flour a deep 22-23cm cake tin and tip out the excess flour.
Heat the oven to 180C/170C fan/gas mark 4.
Beat the sugar and butter for the cake until fluffy. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition, then add the syrup, treacle and vanilla.
Fold in the flour and bicarbonate of soda, then add the dates and their soaking liquid.
Scrape the batter into the tin and bake for 50 minutes. A skewer inserted into the middle of the cake should come out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn it out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, put all the glaze ingredients into a saucepan and, stirring, bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 8 minutes.
Pour this into a bowl, put a piece of greaseproof paper on the surface of the glaze – to stop it developing a skin – and leave to cool completely. It will thicken considerably.
Spread the glaze on top of the cake – it doesn’t matter if it runs down the sides a bit – and scatter over the nuts.
Serve with pouring cream or crème fraîche.