Tipsy cake with creme anglaise

John Burton Races alternative to Christmas pudding is warming and tasty. He recommends that you dont drive after eating it though as its rather alcoholic!
By John Burton Race
Tipsy cake with creme anglaise
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 250 g medjool dates, pitted
  • 175 ml boiling water
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 175 g light brown sugar
  • 375 g flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 150 g chopped walnuts

For the syrup

  • 375 g caster sugar
  • 175 ml water
  • 5 ml butter
  • seeds from 1 vanilla pods
  • 125 ml brandy
  • pouring cream, and icing sugar, to serve

For the Crème Anglaise

  • 250 ml milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod


1. Dissolve the chopped dates in a bowl of the boiling water; finish off with a hand blender if necessary.

2. Cream the eggs, sugar and butter in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy with an electric whisk.

3. Sift the flour and baking powder together then add half to the egg mix along with half of the date mix and combine. Now add the remaining flour and mix together. Stir in the walnuts.

4. Place in a greased 25cm stoneware dish and bake at 180C for 30-35 minutes.

5. For the crème anglaise: while the cake is baking, heat the milk in a small saucepan with the seeds from the vanilla pod.

6. While the milk is heating, whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar in a bowl until pale in colour.

7. When the milk is boiling, pour half over the whisked egg yolks. Mix them together and add the mixture back to the saucepan with the remaining milk.

8. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and gently cook the sauce. Do not boil.

9. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce coats the back of your spoon.

10. Remove from the heat. Strain the sauce through a sieve into a serving jug.

11. For the syrup: boil the sugar and water together for 5 minutes to make the syrup. Then add the butter and vanilla seeds. Leave to cool and then stir in the brandy.

12. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven spike it all over with a skewer and then pour over the brandy sauce. When the syrup has soaked in, serve hot with crème anglaise.

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