Chocolate Marble Date Cake

First of all I want to say a big thankyou for all the lovely messages on Twitter about my new blog design. It was designed by Faye Kent and I'm so happy with it. It's really helped inspire me to get blogging properly again. I would highly recommend Faye if you are after a revamp. 

Now, onto the cake...

I'm at it with the dates again. I don't know where it's come from, it's not like they're a new ingredient to me or anything but I love how versatile they are and the sweetness they add. Right now, I could throw dates into everything and I'd be happy. This cake was inspired by and fairly heavily adapted from Not Without Salt's salted caramel date loaf. Instead of the traditional caramel I made a date caramel to start the cake and added 85% dark chocolate chunks in at the end. The cake batter was warm so you have to stir the chunks in quickly to create the marble effect but still keep the chocolate whole.

I also have to absolutely insist that you spread each slice with almond butter.

Oh My God!

You will thank me. I thanked me.

We are having a house day today. I like to alternate busy days with days indoors. Yesterday we were out all afternoon and, although Matilda is pretty happy sat in her pram, it really takes it out of me so we need a day of sweatpants and Netflix. Oh yeah, and cake! 

I feel like I have a million things to do at the moment, on top of taking care of Matilda (always my number 1 and favourite job to do). Nick and I are getting married in just over seven months and although we have the big stuff sorted like the venue and photographer - the awesome Craig Dearsley - we still need to do EVERYTHING else. We haven't even written a proper guest list, this wedding will be all thrown together at the end if we carry on being this disorganised. I want to do a lot of DIY for it but DIY requires time and buying everything ready done requires money...something in short supply when my SMP kicks in. So if anyone has any advice on getting creative wedding jobs done on the cheap I'd really appreciate it.

Chocolate Marble Date Cake
(Adapted from Not Without Salt)

180g chopped dates
240ml whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
240g caster sugar
90g unsalted butter
360g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
100g 70% or higher dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F. Grease and line a loaf tin and set aside. 
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda. Set aside.
  3. Blend the milk, dates and vanilla in a food processor. Add to a medium pan and heat for 8 minutes until thickened. Add the sugar and butter, heat for another 2-3 minutes then remove from the heat.
  4. Make a well in the flour mix and add the wet ingredients from the pan. Stir until just combined and then add the egg.
  5. Mix in the chocolate chips right at the end, don't over mix because they will melt too much, the chocolate will create dark swirls in the mixture.
  6. Spoon into the loaf tin and bake in the oven for 40 minutes. Leave to cool before turning out.