This delicious, boozy tart recipe is packed with a sticky, date sponge with chopped nuts and plenty of sugar. With a brandy sauce drizzled over the top for an extra kick, this delicious tart would be perfect come Christmas day, birthday celebrations or a naughty afternoon tea with family and friends. If you’re not too keen on the brandy, you could leave out the sauce or you could substitute the brandy for other alcoholic liqueurs such as whiskey. Serve with a thick dollop of freshly whipped cream and enjoy.
175g dates, chopped
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
175ml boiling water
150g plain flour
¼tsp baking powder
35-65g mixed chopped nuts
2 scant tbsp butter, plus extra, for greasing
200g granulated sugar
For the sauce:
300g granulated sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
50ml brandy, such as Klipdrift
Whipped cream, to serve
You could also try this recipe using whisky instead of brandy for an extra kick
Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5. Butter 2 x 20cm loose-bottomed tart tins.
Put the dates in a bowl. Mix the bicarbonate of soda with the boiling water in a heatproof jug and pour this liquid over the dates. Set aside to soak for at least 30 mins.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and stir in the chopped nuts.
Put the butter, sugar and egg in a bowl and beat together. Gradually add the flour mixture, beating between each addition. Stir in the dates.
Divide the mixture between the prepared tins and bake for 25-30 mins, until the tops spring back when pressed lightly.
Allow to cool in the tins for 10 mins, then turn out and transfer to a wire rack.
To make the sauce, put the sugar and 175ml water in a pan and boil for 5 mins, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved. Add the butter and boil for a further 3-4 mins, until fairly thick. Stir in the vanilla extract and brandy. Pour the syrup over the tarts and serve with whipped cream.
Food Glorious Food, published by Mitchell Beazley, is the accompanying book to the ITV1 TV series of the same name.