Blue Smoke Sticky Toffee Cake
- 1 cup stout beer
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 pound pitted dates
- 1/2 pound (about 1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Vegetable cooking spray
- Butterscotch Sauce
- Whipped creme fraiche, for serving (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12-by-10-by-2 1/2-inch baking pan with vegetable cooking spray, and line bottom with parchment paper; set aside.
In a small saucepan, heat the stout over medium heat, almost to a simmer. Remove from heat, and add the baking soda, then the dates. Let stand until dates are soft, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a food processor, and puree.
Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating to combine after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.
Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the date puree, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Pour into prepared pan, smoothing top with a spatula. Bake until set, about 20 minutes.
Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out onto a cutting board, and cut into nine pieces. Serve, warm, drizzled with butterscotch sauce, and topped with a dollop of creme fraiche.