• 300 ml boiling water
  • 150 g chopped dates
  • 100 g dark chocolate
  • 100 g butter (softened)
  • 150 gsoft light brown sugar or light muscovado sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 225 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • for the toffee sauce
  • 275 g golden syrup
  • 275 g light brown sugar
  • 100 g butter
  • 225 ml cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Grease the sides of a 20cm (8in) diameter spring-form tin and line the base with a round disc of greaseproof paper.
  • Put the water in a saucepan, reduce to a simmer and soak the dates in it for 10 minutes. At the same time, melt the chocolate in a bowl sitting over a saucepan of simmering water (also known as a bain marie).
  • Cream the softened butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and soft. Beat in the eggs one by one and then mix in the melted chocolate.
  • Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder, then add the dates and the soaking liquid and stir to mix.
  • Pour the mixture into the tin and bake in the oven for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre.
  • Allow to cool slightly before transferring to a plate.
  • To make the toffee sauce, put all the ingredients into a saucepan on a high heat and boil them for 4–5 minutes, stirring regularly, until they are smooth.
  • To serve, place the cake on a large serving plate (with a rim or a lip around the edge) and pour some of the hot toffee sauce over the top. Serve the remaining sauce in a jug or bowl on the side.


This recipe and many more are available from Rachel's book Rachel's Food for Living published by Harper Collins.