This dish is always a hit with customers at the Bonnington cafe, where Zoe, our community food worker, is a regular chef. Over time, she has adapted the recipe to make it healthier, without compromising on the flavour. It is sweetened with the natural sugars from the dates and the pumpkin. You can use other fruit or vegetables to sweeten it, such as pureed apples or pears. If you don’t want the full shebang, you can skip the sauce and have it as a cake.
- 200g of ground oats/oat flour (can be made by grinding oats in a food processor until fine) or wholemeal self-raising flour
- 200g of chopped dates
- 120g of cooked pumpkin flesh (you can also use cooked squash or sweet potato if you can’t find pumpkin)
- 250 mil of non-dairy milk
- 100mil of vegetable or sunflower oil
- 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinammon
- 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
Toffee sauce ingredients
- 100g of pitted dates (soaked in hot water for an hour)
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- Half a teaspoon of salt
- Set the oven to 200C/gas mark 5
- Place the cooked pumpkin in a food processor and blend into a puree. (You can also use a hand blender or potato masher).
- Grease a 10 inch cake tin (exact size doesn’t matter, but obviously the smaller the tin the deeper the cake will be) or cup cake tray (mixture makes approximately 12 cup cakes).
- Put the dates and milk in a medium saucepan and simmer for approximately 5 minutes until they are soft. Turn off the heat
- In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and pumpkin puree. Add the ground oats, baking powder, ginger and cinnamon and stir.
- Stir the bicarbonate of soda into dates followed by the pumpkin mixture and stir until everything is incorporated.
- Pour the mixture into the cake tin/cup cake tray and bake for between 20 to 30 minutes (cup cakes will take less time), until the edges have set but the centre is still quite soft
- Whilst the cakes are baking make the caramel sauce. Drain the dates, reserving 150 millilitres of their water. Place the dates in a saucepan with the coconut oil over a low-medium heat. Allow them to melt for about five minutes, until the dates are nice and soft. Pour the dates alongside the reserved water into a blender. Blend until a smooth sauce forms. Add a little more water if necessary (it should be a pouring consistency). Heat the sauce in a small saucepan and pour it over the warm cakes.