On TV Tonight
- 20:00 - Nigel Slater's 12 Tastes of Christmas - Nigel Slater's 12 Tastes of Christmas
- 21:00 - Nigel Slater's Simple Christmas - Nigel Slater's Simple Christmas
- 22:00 - The Hairy Bikers: Mums Know Best at Christmas - The Hairy Bikers: Mums Know Best at Christmas
- Prep time:
- 10 min
- Cook time:
- 40 min
The sweetness of dates and maple syrup combine with the glorious crunchiness of three different types of nut in Rachel Allen's ultimate teatime treat
Method1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4, then butter the sides and base 23cm spring-form or loose-bottomed cake tin and dust with flour. If you’re using a spring-form tin, make sure the base is upside down, so theres no lip and the cake can slide off easily when cooked.
2. Tip 100g of the nuts into a food processor and whiz for a couple of minutes until fine. Add the butter and sugar, then whiz briefly until the mixture is soft and fluffy. Add the eggs one at time, pulsing just to combine, then add the dates and pulse a few times to combine.
3. Tip the mixture into a large bowl, then sift in the flour, folding in just until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared tin, then carefully arrange the remaining nuts in a circle or band about 5cm wide around the edge of the cake, leaving the centre free of nuts otherwise they’d weigh down the centre of the cake.
4. Bake for about 40 minutes or until golden brown on top and well risen – a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean. Remove from the oven and immediately brush the nuts and top of the cake with the maple syrup.
5. Allow to cool for 20 minutes, then loosen around the edges using a small, sharp knife and carefully remove the sides of the cake tin. Place on a wire rack to cool down fully, then use a palette knife or metal fish slice to loosen the bottom of the cake from the base of the tin and, with the help of the knife or fish slice, ease the cake onto a plate to serve.
Text © Rachel Allen 2012. Photography © Philip Webb 2012.
- 225 g mixed whole almonds, brazil nuts and walnuts
- 200 g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 200 g brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 150 g pitted dates, chopped
- 150 g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
- 50 ml maple syrup
Tips and suggestions
- When using walnuts, make sure to taste them before you add them to a cake, as if they are rancid or bitter they will affect the cake’s flavour.