Let's just see about that!
MOMA - Kitchen as Art - Tom Wesselmann's Still Life #30
This girl's kitchen is in no way as colorful as the above take, but my counters are just as cluttered as that table! I have beautiful dates, some good brandy, vanilla beans, and the staples to make the cake and toffee sauce all lined up at my work station. Perhaps 'lined up' is a bit of an exaggeration...
Warm Date Cake and Toffee Sauce
courtesy of Janna Gur
1 lb. 2 oz pitted dates
1 quart water
2 tbsp. baking soda
14 oz. butter
14 oz. sugar
1 vanilla pod, slit open
1 lb. 6 ½ oz. flour
2 tbsp. baking powder
Toffee Sauce:2/3 c. dark brown sugar
2 oz. butter
3 oz. heavy cream
3 oz. milk
1 teaspoon brandy
Making the Cake:
1. Mix the dates with the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add the baking soda, mix, and set aside.
2. Pre heat the oven to 340 ° F
3. Beat softened butter with the sugar until light and creamy. Add one egg at a time, beating well between each.
4. Slit open the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds into the egg mixture. Save the pod for the toffee sauce.
5. Sift the flour with the baking powder and add gradually to the egg mixture
6. Mash the dates in the water and fold into the batter.
7. Grease three loaf pans or one 13 x 9 inch pan.
8. Pour the batter into the pans, filling to ¾ level.
9. Bake until a toothpick comes clean.
Making the Toffee Sauce:
1. Bring all the ingredients except the brandy to a boil. Add the reserved vanilla pod. Cook for 5 minutes. When thickened, remove from heat and stir in the brandy.
2. Serve warm sauce drizzle over warm date cake.
3. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and a mint leaf.
Notes: I halved this recipe and I still came away with a lovely oblong cake ... 8 x 11 inches. Do what you will! My thought is that this recipe would be spectacular baked in popover pans, and flipped over with a small melon ball scoop taken from the top, caramel sauce filled and drizzled a la volcano with the whipped cream plopped at the side with mint leaf. Forgive my Martha Stewart tendencies...