Gluten-free walnut and date cake

Serves 12 people

I asked for your best suggestions about what to make with these amazing new season walnuts - well here's the result. One of the best (and simplest) cakes you'll ever try!

Ingredients
  • 300g pitted dates, chopped
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 150ml boiling water
  • 200g walnuts
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 135g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 300ml cream
  • 125ml maple syrup
  • extra walnuts, to garnish
Instructions

1 Preheat oven to 170°C. Combine the dates and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl, then mix in the boiling water. Cover with cling film, then set aside to cool completely.

2 Put the walnuts and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse until a fine crumb form. Set aside. Place the date mixture in the food processor and pulse until a coarse paste forms. Mix in the yolks.

3 Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar to soft peaks in the bowl of an electric mixer, then begin adding the caster sugar 1 Tbsp at a time, beating until a glossy meringue forms. Fold the walnuts into the date mixture, then fold in the meringue and vanilla gently. Spoon into a lined 22cm cake tin and bake for 40-45 minutes, until just firm to touch.

4 Pour the cream and maple into a small saucepan and set over a high heat. Boil until thickened, then pour over the cake. Garnish with additional walnuts, then serve.