Despite the inclusion of dates and walnuts, this traybake does not taste anything like a sticky date pudding. While to some that could be considered a disappointment, it has a rich nutty flavour all it’s own which pairs beautifully with a smooth coffee on a chilly winter morning. The dates give a lovely sweetness and the walnuts a pleasant crunch. This is a traybake even those who dislike dates will enjoy.
- 250g stoned and chopped dates
- 40g softened butter
- 350ml boiling water
- 2 large eggs
- 200g dark muscovado sugar (or brown sugar to substitute)
- 150g ground almonds/almond meal
- 150g chopped walnuts
- 350g self-raising flour
- 1 1/2 level tsp ground cinnamon
- 225g sifted pure icing sugar
- Grated rind and juice of one lemon
- Walnut pieces, to decorate
Pre-heat your oven to 180°c or 160°c fan-forced and grease and line a 30x23cm baking tray or roasting tin.
Place the chopped dates and butter in a small bowl and pour the boiling water over the top and stir well. Set aside and leave to cool.
Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a separate bowl, stir in the date mixture and add the remaining cake ingredients. Stir until just combined and then pour into the lined pan.
Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. The recipe calls for 1 hour and 10 minutes of cooking but for me the cake was beautifully done at 30 minutes so do check the cake regularly! A skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean. Let it cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing from the tin, peeling off the baking paper and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.
While it cools, make the icing by mixing the sugar with the lemon zest and juice adding a dribble of warm water at a time until you reach a smooth spreading consistency. I only made half the amount and found it adequate to give a thin cover. If you want a thicker layer, feel free to make the entire amount.
Decorate with walnut pieces as desired and cut into 24 pieces.