cooking oil spray to grease
250 g dried pitted dates
250 ml water
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
150 g butter, chopped, softened
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
3 free-range eggs
2 cups self-raising flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
250 g block cream cheese, chopped, softened
½ cup brown sugar
100 ml thickened cream
pistachios to serve
- Preheat oven to 180°C fanforced (200°C conventional). Grease a 22cm round cake tin with oil and line base and side with baking paper.
- Put dates and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 2 minutes, then stir in bicarb and immediately remove from heat. Set aside for 20 minutes to cool.
- Put butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat on high for 2 minutes or until smooth and pale in colour. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift in 1 cup of the flour, the cinnamon and ginger, then stir until just combined. Stir through date mixture, followed by remaining flour, stirring until smooth. Pour into tin and smooth surface. Bake for 45 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Set aside in tin for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make frosting, put cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl and beat with electric hand beaters until sugar has dissolved and mixture is smooth. Pour in cream and beat again until smooth and thick. Spread frosting over cooled cake, scatter with pistachios and serve with roasted pears.