I went into a kitchen shop the other day, one I’ve walked past hundreds of times and never realised was a kitchen shop. It’s a typical Hong Kong-looking “everything” shop. Plastic storage boxes stacked up outside, mops and feather dusters. It looked like a household shop. But, I had time to kill and decided to have a wander. Oh man. How wrong was I?
This place had every little gadget you could possibly imagine. Multitudes of mixing bowls, pyrex dishes, pots, pans, knives, crockery, cake tins, skillets. You name it, they most likely had it.
I was also extremely happy to find a cast iron casserole dish that is small enough to fit in my oven, and is hob-safe. Hooray for being able to cook in one pan the next time I make a stew.
However, I also bought a silicone bundt cake mold. I’d never made a bundt cake before, but the thought had always been there – the idea of making something a bit more tea-time like, and allowing for something a bit lighter.
So, along came the idea of making a brown sugar and date cake, with a salted caramel drizzle.
I wish you could have tried some. It was divine, and very quickly eaten (even after a very filling afternoon tea-style lunch). I did use a cheat for the caramel, but I have also made caramel entirely from scratch before too. I just used sweetened condensed milk this time, as it is easier to make if you wanted to try at home.
I don’t know how this would work as a regular cake, because the ring shape of the cake meant that you could have a small piece, and really get all of the flavours together. But, who knows? Maybe it would work absolutely perfectly as a regular, round cake with no hole in the middle.
For the cake:
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup caster sugar
3 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup skim milk
1 1/2 cup chopped dates
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons fine salt
- Preheat oven to 160°C, and coat your Bundt cake pan with cooking spray.
- Place the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat on a high speed until creamy.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating between each addition, until well incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the milk. Beat until just combined.
- Stir in the chopped dates.
- Pour batter into cake tin, and place in the oven for 40 – 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cover cake with foil to prevent too much browning of the base.
- When done, remove from the oven and let cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then, allow to completely cool on a wire cooling rack.
- Once completely cooled, cut off the base if uneven, to make a flat base.
- In a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat, add the condensed milk and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Reduce heat, and simmer for 8 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Remove from the heat, and stir in the butter, vanilla and salt until well combined.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes, but ensure that the sauce is hot before drizzling over the cake.
- Drizzle, and enjoy.