- 200g dates, roughly chopped
Dates are one of the oldest cultivated fruits - it's thought that they were a staple part of…
- 200ml milk, plus a splash
One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…
- 250g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 280g self-raising flour
- 200g light soft brown sugar
- ½ tsp baking powder
Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…
- 4 large eggs
The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…
- 1 tbsp mixed spice
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 small red apples
Grown in temperate regions, apples are one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits. There are…
- squeeze lemon juice
- handful of toffees
There are few secrets to toffee. It is simply sugar that has been…
- a little icing sugar, for dusting
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line a 20 x 30cm baking tray with baking parchment. Put the dates and milk in a small pan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and set aside for 15 mins to cool.
Whizz the date mixture to a smooth purée in a food processor or blender, then scrape into a large mixing bowl. Tip in the butter, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, eggs, mixed spice and vanilla, and set aside while you prepare the apples.
Quarter and core the apples, then slice quite thinly, tossing in a little lemon juice as you go. Quickly beat together the cake ingredients with an electric whisk until smooth, then scrape into the baking tray. Arrange the apple slices, overlapping in rows, on top of the cake – you should be able to get 3 rows lengthways down the tray. Bake for 45-50 mins until a skewer poked into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the tray.
Put the toffees in a small pan with a good splash of milk and gently melt, stirring, until runny. To finish, dust with a little icing sugar, then drizzle sauce all over the cake. Cut into squares or slices to serve.