Serves: About 12 slices
Much as I love a simple Victoria sponge I rarely make them as they are best eaten fresh-after 2 days they lose their appeal. So unless the family are descending and there are hungry mouths to eat it I prefer a cake that will be as good at the end of the week as the beginning. The Date and Pistachio Crumble Cake fits the bill perfectly. I also serve it warm as a pudding with ice cream or custard. For best results go for the plump medjool dates rather than the tough dry ones in the hard packets.
- For the crumble topping
- 115g plain flour
- 100g demerara sugar
- 200g pistachio nuts
- 120g unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- For the cake
- 240g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 125g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
- 190g golden caster sugar
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 200ml buttermilk
- 10 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
- Heat the oven to 180˚c, fan oven 160˚c, Mark 4. Grease and base-line a 20cm spring-form cake tin. For the crumble topping, place the flour, sugar and nuts in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds until the nuts are roughly chopped. Add the butter and pulse for a few seconds. Set aside.
- For the cake, mix together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. In a separate bowl beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs then beat in half the buttermilk followed by half the flour mixture. Beat in the remaining buttermilk and finally the remaining flour mix. Stir in the chopped dates. Spoon half the batter mixture into the tin and smooth to the edges. Sprinkle over half the crumble mix. Carefully spread the remaining batter over and top with the crumble. Bake in the oven for 1 hour -1 hour 5-10 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. It can be tricky to tell as the sticky dates can look like uncooked batter but the centre should feel firm to the touch. Leave to cool for 15 minutes before releasing the sides of the tin and wait a further 15-20 minutes before lifting the cake off the base. Serve warm or cold.