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  • 250ml water
  • 250g pitted dried dates
  • 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 80g unsalted butter, cubed & softened at room temperature
  • ½ cup  (100g) dark brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • I tsp mixed spice
  • 100g good quality dark eating chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup (40g) pecan nuts, roughly chopped
  • 1½ cups (215g) plain flour, sifted
  • 50g good quality dark eating chocolate, extra, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbs dark brown sugar, extra
  • Butterscotch Sauce
  • 250ml thickened cream
  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (160g) dark brown sugar
  • premium vanilla ice cream, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 180C (160C for fan forced oven). Grease and line a 13 x 24cm loaf tin with baking paper and spray lightly with oil.
  2. Combine water and dates in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and stir through soda. Allow to cool.
  3. Place butter and sugar into the mixing bowl of the stand mixer. Attach the flat beater and pouring shield (if available). Mix on speed 2 until incorporated, then increase to speed 6 and mix for 2-3 minutes, or until light and creamy. Add the eggs one and a time and beat well in between each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl regularly with a spatula.
  4. Add date mixture, mixed spice, chocolate, nuts and flour and mix on speed 1 until just combined. Do not over mix. Pour into prepared tin and bake for 40 minutes on middle shelf.
  5. Combine extra chocolate and brown sugar together and sprinkle over top of cake. Bake for a further 5 minutes or until cake is firm to touch. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  6. Prepare Butterscotch Sauce: Combine cream, butter and sugar in a small saucepan and simmer for 3 minutes or until sugar has dissolved.
  7. Slice cake and serve with Butterscotch Sauce and ice cream.


  • As only 1.2L of ice cream can be made at once the recipe can be doubled and churned separately for a larger quantity.
  • Home made ice cream should be eaten within 5 days of making.