sweet painted lady café date & rum cake

Waharoa on State Highway 27 near Matamata is worth the diversion for this great cake – the hint of rum intensifies the date flvaour and does not dominate. Thanks to Pat Jacques for this super recipe.


400 g chopped dates
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp. baking soda
½ cup chopped walnuts
125 g butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup dark rum


Put dates, boiling water and soda in a bowl and leave to cool a little and then mash together. Add walnuts.
Cream butter, brown sugar and vanilla and eggs and beat together. Add date mixture then flour and baking powder.
Bake in 21cm round tin at 160 C fan bake for 55 min. Remove from oven and gently pour over rum.
When cool, ice with cream cheese icing with a dash of rum.
Cook’s tips:
* Eggs at room temperature when added to the mix ensures better results, use a potato masher to work the dates and if you don’t want to use 1/3 cup rum even a few tablespoons will provide great flavour without over- shadowing the date flavour.
If you don’t have a fan bake – use 180degC for 55 mins. Remember check with a skewer to ensure the cake is cooked as ovens do vary in temperature.