450 g/1 lb/2 cups stoned (pitted)
dates, finely chopped
2.5 ml bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
225 g/8 oz/1 cup butter or margarine, softened
225 g/8 oz/1 cup caster (superfine) sugar
100 g/4 oz/1 cup chopped pecan nuts
5 ml/1 tsp vanilla essence (extract)
350 g/12 oz/3 cups plain
10 ml/2 tsp ground cinnamon
5 ml/1 tsp baking powder For the icing (frosting):
120 ml/4 fl oz/1 cup water
30 ml/2 tbsp cocoa (unsweetened chocolate) powder
10 ml/2 tsp instant coffee powder
100 g/4 oz butter or margarine
400 g/14 oz icing
(confectioners') sugar, sifted
50 g/2 oz pecan nuts, finely
To make the cake, pour the boiling water
over the dates and bicarbonate of soda and leave to stand until cool.
Cream together the butter or margarine and caster sugar until light
and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, then stir in the nuts, vanilla
essence and dates. Fold in the flour, cinnamon and baking powder.
Spoon into two greased 23 cm/9 in sandwich tins (pans) and bake in a
preheated oven at 180°C/350°F/gas mark
4 for 30 minutes until springy to the touch. Turn out on to a wire
rack to cool.
To make the icing, boil the water, cocoa and coffee in a small pan
until you have a thick syrup. Leave to cool. Cream together the butter
or margarine and the icing sugar until soft, then beat in the syrup.
Sandwich the cakes together with
one-third of the icing. Spread half the remaining icing round the
sides of the cake, then press on the chopped pecans. Spread most of
the remaining icing over the top and pipe a few icing rosettes.