For the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 160C and lightly grease a non-stick muffin pan with oil. The muffin tin wells can be 9cm in diameter (or smaller, if you prefer).
2. Combine water and dates in a pot, bring to a boil and let simmer until dates are soft. Reserve.
3. Add sugar and butter to a large bowl and mix using a hand mixer until the sugar is combined and the butter is fluffy. Alternatively, use a stand mixer.
4. Add eggs and keep mixing.
5. In a separate bowl, stir through the rest of the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt). Add them to the first bowl with the sugar and butter (or into the stand mixer) and combine well.
6. Finally, add the dates. Make sure they are very soft and mix well.
7. Pour the mixture into 8 of the muffin tin wells if using a 9cm diameter (this depends on the size of your muffin tray).
8. Bake for 20 minutes (timing may vary slightly), checking that a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
For the caramel:
1. Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a high heat-resistant rubber spatula or a wooden spoon. The sugar will form into clumps and will eventually melt into a brown, amber-coloured liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn.
2. Once the sugar is completely melted, immediately stir in the butter until combined. The caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added – be extra careful. After the butter has melted and combined with the caramelised sugar, cook for 1 minute without stirring.
3. Gradually, stir in the heavy cream. Since it is colder than the hot caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble when the cream is added. After all the heavy cream has been added, stop stirring and allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
4. Remove from heat and stir in the salt. Allow to cool down slightly before using. Caramel thickens as it cools.
1. Warm up the caramel and spread about 2 tbsp on the bottom of an individual serving plate.
2. Place the cake on top of the caramel.
3. Add a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.
4. Top with a date and chopped pistachios.
• Brown sugar and granulated sugar have different weights/measurements.
• You can top with any nuts or your favourite seeds to decorate.
• The caramel can be drizzled on top of the date cake (instead of being served at the bottom).
• The date pudding can also be served warm. Microwave for 20 to 30 seconds.
• The caramel mixture can be stored for up to 1 month in the refrigerator. Caramel solidifies in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop to desired consistency.