This date cake is perfect for freezing if you want to keep some for later, and if cut into small slices it can also be eaten straight from the freezer as a cooler snack! Be sure to tightly wrap the dessert in clingfilm, place in an airtight container and freeze for up to three months.
A simple way to make this cake vegan is to swap the double cream for a plant-based whipping cream alternative. If you have a gluten allergy however, make sure to double check the contents, as some plant-based milk alternatives contain gluten, unlike milk itself.
Along with the suggested berry topping in this recipe, a simple way to mix things up is to add crushed walnuts to the melted chocolate before setting to create a different effect. Alternatively, use a simple caramel glaze to make the cake eye-catching – mix melted butter, sugar and thick cream, bring to the boil then simmer for a few minutes until it thickens. Drizzle on top and you’re finished.
Date cakes are among the oldest desserts in the world thanks to the usefulness of dates as a natural sweetener that was relatively affordable and accessible. Dates originate in the Middle East where they are used in a wide range of traditional desserts and are among the oldest cultivated fruits in existence. The fruit also has an important role in European cultures – in the UK for example dates are an important part of several Christmas desserts like fruit cake, while in Spain date and walnut cake is a Valencian delicacy.
This date cake recipe is well balanced but there is room for experimentation to give it a different character. Caramel sauce is a classic topping that combines well with the cake’s flavours, or for a savoury contrast why not try cream cheese or mascarpone? A spicy, unusual alternative is to create a ginger icing by combining icing sugar, butter, ground ginger and a touch of vanilla to top the date cake off with a kick.
Cardamom is the secret ingredient that can take desserts to the next level and date cake is no exception – try adding some ground cardamom and cinnamon to the caramel-date base before blending.
There’s no hard rule about which kind of drink to combine this tasty cake with but its sweet nature combines well with a strong cup of coffee or a darker, richer tea variety.