- 8 ounces dates
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons rum or brandy
- 1 teaspoon molasses
- pinch salt
Nut Brittle for Ice Cream:
- 3 cups raw nuts (chopped or whole depending on the size) – peanuts, slivered almonds, cashews, pecans, pistachios, or walnuts)
- 4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon cornsyrup
- pinch salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
To make the cake:
Grease an 8 x 8-inch baking pan (or 18 muffin cups) generously with butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a small pot bring the dates and water to a boil, turn the heat down, add the baking soda and simmer for 5 minutes.
Pour the dates into the bowl of a food processor, add the sugar and blend. Add the eggs and combine. Add the fresh ginger and vanilla and pulse to combine.
While the machine is running slowly add the melted butter.
Dump the date mixture into a large mixing bowl. Whisk the dry ingredients together and then add them to the date mixture, only mix until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes (muffin cup version should be checked after 20 minutes) or until tester comes out clean.
While the cake is baking make the Toffee Sauce:
Heat the butter, sugar, cream, rum and salt in a medium sauce pan and simmer until the sugar is disolved.
Poke holes all over the cake with a skewer and pour half the hot syrup over the hot cake. Return to the oven for about 3 minutes.
To make the Brittle:
Heat the sugar, water, and cornsyrup in a large sauce pan over high heat. Allow it to boil untouched until it starts to turn amber in color. At this point watch it carefully. Stir the caramel so it doesn’t burn, it tends to caramelize unevenly. Once it is a nice dark caramel color (it may even start to smoke slightly) add the nuts and baking soda and stir. The mixture will foam when the baking soda is added.
Pour the brittle onto a silpat and quickly spread it out. Cool completely. Can be made days ahead and kept in an air tight container.
Once you are ready to make the ice cream break up some of the brittle in a mortar and pestle.
Fold the brittle into your vanilla ice cream.
Top the cake with ice cream and pour on a bit more of the sauce.