Delia Smith is probably my favourite ‘celebrity chef’. I think it’s because she’s really down to earth, and so are her recipes. Easy to follow recipes that result in simple, hearty, tasty food.
This week’s recipe is a case in point, her sticky date cake. Delia calls it a ‘boil and bake’ cake – not terribly enticing I admit, but bear with me.
It’s quick to mix but takes up to 3 hours to bake in a low oven. The result is a big, unctuous, flavourful fruit-filled cake. The original recipe calls for a dollop of orange marmalade – which we never have in the house – so I substituted it for some lime marmalade I made a while ago.
The taste and texture of this cake make it like a cross between a sticky toffee pudding and a Christmas cake.
Try it with vanilla ice cream, thick pouring cream and a splash of brandy or rum for a festive flourish!
Sticky date cake
Somewhere between a Christmas cake and a sticky toffee pudding!
- 225g/8oz chopped dried dates
- 175g/6oz sultanas
- 110g/4oz raisins
- 110g/4oz currants
- 27g/10oz margarine
- 275ml/½pt water
- 1 tin condensed milk
- 150g/5oz plain flour
- 150g/5oz wholemeal flour
- ¾tsp bicarbonate of soda
- pinch of salt
- 1 generous tbsp chunky marmalade
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- Preheat the oven to 170ºC/325ºF/Gas mark 3
- Grease & line a 20cm/8-inch square cake tin
- Place all of the dried fruit in a large saucepan together with the margerine, water and condensed milk and bring to the boil
- Stir frequently to avoid sticking
- Simmer the mixture for exactly 3 minutes and stir occasionally
- Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and allow to cool for half an hour
- While it's cooling, weigh the flours and sift them into a bowl together with the salt and bicarbonate of soda. (When sieving wholemeal flour, you often find small quantities of bran left in the sieve; these can be tipped on to the already sieved flour)
- When the mixture has cooled stir in the flour mix and add a good round tablespoon of marmalade
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake on the centre shelf of the oven for 2½-3 hours. (Take a look at the cake about ¾ of the way through the baking time and, if the top looks a bit dark, cover it with a double square of greaseproof paper to prevent further browning)
- After removing the cake from the oven, let it cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack
- This is quite a large cake which will keep well for several weeks in an airtight tin
Adapted from Delia Smith's Cookery Course: Part Two
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/
This double chocolate stout cake was a resounding hit this week! I’ve used stout to make bread before, but this is the first time that I’ve used it as a cake ingredient.
It was moist, dense and dark with the stout giving the chocolate a greater depth of flavour. The was pretty tasty too!
Here’s the recipe – based on the one I found in The Delia Collection: Chocolate…
Have a look at some of the other recipes where we used stout.
Double chocolate stout cake
- For the cake
- 2 oz/50g cocoa powder
- 7 fl oz/200 ml Young's Double Chocolate Stout, Guinness or similar
- 4oz/110g butter, softened
- 10oz/275g brown soft sugar
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 6oz/175g plain flour
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- For the icing
- 4oz/110g icing sugar, sifted
- 2oz/50g very soft butter
- 2 tbsp stout
- 4oz/110g dark chocolate
- To decorate
- 8 walnut halves
- cocoa powder, for dusting
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until pale & fluffy
- Beat the eggs in a small jug and add it a little at a time to the butter & sugar mixture
- Into the smaller mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda
- Into the smallest mixing bowl, add the cocoa, gradually stirring the stout into it using a whisk
- Carefully and lightly fold small quantities of the sifted flour alternately with the cocoa & stout liquid into the egg mixture
- Divide the cake mixture equally between two 20cm/8" loose-based cake tins
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes
- Leave them to cool in the tins for 5 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack
- To make the icing, beat the icing sugar and butter together until blended
- Gradually add the stout, making sure it's thoroughly mixed in after each addition
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over hot water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water
- One by one, dip the walnut halves up to their middle into the warm, melted chocolate
- Leave them on a side plate or parchment paper to harden
- Carefully fold the remaining melted chocolate into the icing mixture and allow to cool
- Once cooled to a spreadable consistency, using a palette knife, sandwich the cake with ⅓ of the icing
- Spread the remaining ⅔ on the top of the cake
- Arrange the dipped walnut halves on top