- 125g (4½oz) stoned dates, roughly chopped
- 175g (6oz) butter, softened
- 150g (5oz) golden caster sugar
- 3 large free-range eggs
- 185g (6½oz) plain flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- ½tsp ground cinnamon
- ½tsp ground ginger
- 250g (9oz) very ripe bananas (unpeeled weight), mashed
- for the salted caramel topping
- 225g (8oz) muscovado sugar
- 175g (6oz) unsalted butter
- 175ml (6fl oz) double cream
- ½tsp each vanilla extract and sea salt
- dried banana chips, to decorate
- you will need
- 7 or 8 disposable mini loaf tins, measuring 7.5x4x4cm (3x1½x1½in), available from Sainsbury's
Heat the oven to 180C, 160C fan, 350F, gas 4. To make the cakes, in a small saucepan, bring the dates to the boil with just enough water to cover them; simmer for 5 minutes. Drain then whizz in a food processor until smooth. Set aside to cool.
Cream the butter and sugar until pale, light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, adding 1tbsp of the flour if it curdles. Fold in the rest of the flour, the baking powder and spices. Then fold in the bananas and dates. Divide the mixture between the tins and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
To make the topping, gently melt the sugar and butter in a medium saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Allow to cook for 5 minutes on a low heat then, stirring constantly, add the cream, vanilla and salt. Take off the heat and allow to cool and thicken.
Once the cakes have cooled, pour over the topping and decorate with a few dried banana chips.