125 g (4oz) butter, softened, plus extra to grease
250 g (9oz) self-raising flour, plus extra to dust
200 g (7oz) dates, stoned and finely chopped
250 ml (9fl oz) hot tea, freshly brewed
200 g (7oz) light brown muscovado sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
3 medium eggs
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
FOR THE ICING
100 ml (3½fl oz) double cream
75 g (3oz) light brown muscovado sugar
25 g (1oz) butter
1 tbsp golden syrup
Fudge chunks, optional, to decorate
Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4. Grease a deep round 20.5cm (8in) cake tin and dust with flour (tap out excess). Put dates into a bowl, pour over hot tea and soak for 10min.
Put butter and sugar into a large bowl and beat together using a handheld electric whisk until light and fluffy, about 5min. Whisk in the golden syrup, followed by eggs, soda, flour and date mixture (it may look a little curdled, but don’t worry). Pour mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 55min or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool completely in the tin.
Meanwhile, make the toffee icing. Put all ingredients except the fudge chunks into a pan. Heat gently until melted and smooth, then turn up heat slightly and simmer gently for 7min until thickened. Pour into a bowl, lay a piece of baking parchment on the surface to stop a skin forming and leave to cool completely.
Remove cooled cake from tin and transfer to a cake plate or stand. Spread icing over top of cake, scatter over fudge chunks, if using, and serve in slices.