I was really impressed with this cake. The base is light and the toffee topping isn't overly sweet but the sea salt gives it a lovely surprise kick.
Here's the recipe I used:
Ingredients for the sponge base
200g chopped dates
160g light brown sugar
80g unsalted butter
300ml boiling water
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
175g self raising flour
75g chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
pinch of salt
Ingredients for the top
100g light brown sugar
100ml double cream, whipped
75g unsalted butter
Pinch of sea salt
Walnut pieces to decorate
We're going to make the sponge mixture first.
- Line the base of a tin approx 25cm x 20cm x minimum of 5cm
- Preheat the oven to 180/gas 4
- In a saucepan, add the dates, bicarbonate of soda and boiling water
- Simmer over a low heat for a minute or so and then remove from the heat and leave to cool and soften (for around 10-15 minutes)
- In a mixing bowl add the butter and beat until creamy
- Continue to beat and add the sugar then gradually add the eggs and vanilla essence
- Add the pinch of salt and flour and mix till smooth.
- Add the cooled date mixture and the walnuts
- Pour into the prepared lined tin and bake for approximate 25 minutes. Turn out and leave to cool.
Once the sponge base is cool you can add the topping:
On a low heat, in a saucepan add the sugar, butter and double cream and gently melt. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 3-4 minutes (I kept stirring mine so that it didn't stick to the pan). Remove from the heat and then leave to completely cool.
When the toffee is totally cool, add it to a bowl with the mascarpone. Add the sea salt flakes and stir. Spread across the top of the cooled sponge base and then top with walnut pieces.
I also made a chocolate orange sponge too.