What’s not to love about dates, nuts and golden syrup, all in the one dish?
- 205 g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- 125 g hazelnuts, lightly roasted (see Notes), skins removed
- 200 g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 55 g (¼ cup) brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 150 g (1 cup) self-raising flour, sifted
- 10 fresh dates, chopped into slivers
- vanilla ice-cream or custard, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
You will need a 1.5 L casserole pan for this recipe.
Place 55 g caster sugar, golden syrup and 125 ml water in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 4 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool before using.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Pulse roasted hazelnuts in a food processor until well crushed, but not completely fine.
Grease a 1.5 L casserole pan. Beat the butter, remaining 150 g caster sugar and brown sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy, then beat in eggs, one at a time. Fold in flour and hazelnuts, then fold in the dates. Spread the mixture evenly over the base of a prepared casserole pan, then tip the cooled golden syrup mix over as evenly as possible. Cover with greased foil.
Carefully place casserole dish in a baking dish, add 2 cm hot water to a baking dish to make a water bath, then bake for 1 hour. Remove foil, lower oven to 160°C and continue baking for a further 10 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean and the top is golden and springs back when pressed. Serve warm with vanilla ice-cream or custard.
• Roasting nuts - Preheat oven to 180°C. Place nuts in a small oven tray and roast, stirring halfway, for 10 minutes or until golden brown. If roasting hazelnuts, rub between your hands once cooled to remove skins.
Photography Alan Benson
As seen in Feast magazine, October 2013, Issue 25.