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sticky date and custard poke cake

Yields1 ServingPrep Time6 minsCook Time14 minsTotal Time20 mins

Description:
Seriously impress your friends with this sticky date cake with a smooth and creamy topping, top with maple syrup and you're in afternoon tea heaven. If you are looking for a new and tasty recipe, do not lose this one. The presence of Piarom dates in this cake makes that a tonic and healthy one. You can also use Rabbi or Mazafati dates. It is optional. Trust me! This cake with each date would taste great!
Date and custard poke cake
Seriously impress your friends with this sticky date cake with a smooth and creamy topping, top with maple syrup and you're in afternoon tea heaven.

 2 cups Piarom dates, pited and coarsely chopped
 375 ml boiling water
 1 ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
 125 g butter, chopped, at room temperature
 160 g brown sugar
 3 eggs
 225 g self-raising flour
 1 tsp ground ginger
 Maple syrup to drizzle
 Custard:
 50 g custard powder
 55 g caster sugar
 500 ml milk
 125 ml pouring cream
 Brown sugar meringue:
 3 egg whites
 120 g brown sugar
1

Preheat oven to 170C/150C fan forced. Grease a 7cm-deep, 20cm square cake pan. Line with baking paper, allowing sides to overhang. Place chopped dates in a heatproof bowl. Add boiling water and stir in bicarb. Set aside for 20 minutes or until mixture has cooled slightly. Transfer to a food processor. Process until nearly smooth.

2

Use electric beaters to beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Use a large metal spoon to fold in the date mixture. Sift over the flour and ginger and stir until combined.

3

Spoon batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour 5 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Set aside, still in the pan, for 30 minutes or until cooled slightly.

4

Meanwhile, for the custard, combine the custard powder and caster sugar in a small saucepan. Gradually add the milk, stirring until smooth. Add the cream. Stir over medium-low heat until the custard comes to the boil and thickens. Simmer, stirring, for 30 seconds or until very thick.

5

Use the end of a round-handled wooden spoon to quickly poke holes in the cake (wipe spoon clean as needed). Pour half the custard over the cake and into the holes. Tap the pan to help fill the holes, then use a spatula to spread custard into the holes and a little over the top. Reserve remaining custard, pressing plastic wrap over the surface to prevent a skin forming.

6

For the meringue, increase the oven temperature to 220C/200C fan forced. Use electric beaters to beat the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add the brown sugar, a little at a time, beating well after each addition until the sugar dissolves.

7

Use the baking paper to carefully lift the cake out of the pan. Transfer to a baking tray. Spread with the meringue and bake for 2-3 minutes or until just browned. Serve with remaining custard and maple syrup.