Date & Apple Cake Recipe...

200g Dates chopped
2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored & chopped into small pieces
1tsp of Bicarbonate of soda
125g lightly salted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
200g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour

Mix dates, apples & bicarbonate of soda with 200ml of boiling water in a bowl. Leave to cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius/350 degrees fahrenheit. Grease & line a rectangular cake tin.

Beat together the butter & sugar until pale & creamy. Beat the eggs & vanilla, stir in the flour then tip the apple & date mixture & any other liquid. Stir until combined then turn into the tin. Level the surface & bake for about 1 hour.

If you want to ice the cake you can use a basic icing sugar & water mix, or for something a little more exciting try this-
75g light muscovado sugar
50g lightly salted butter
100ml coconut cream or coconut milk
115g dessicated coconut

To make the topping put the sugar, butter & coconut cream in a small saucepan & heat until the butter melts. Bring to the boil & let the mixture bubble for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat & stir in the coconut. Spoon over the cake in an even layer. Return to the oven for a further 15 minutes or until the topping is golden. Leave to cool in the tin before storing in an airtight container.

This Recipe was found in 'Country Homes & Interiors' November issue.