255g/9oz stoned dates, finely chopped

290ml/½ pt strong, hot tea

110g/4oz butter, softened

170g/6oz caster sugar

3 eggs

225g/8oz self-raising flour, sifted

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

Maldon Sea Salt Flakes

Warm Bushmills Whiskey Sauce

225g/8oz butter

110g/4oz soft light brown sugar

5TBS double cream

3TBS Bushmills Whiskey

1tsp vanilla extract


Serves 8


  1. Heat the oven to 160c fan oven/350f/GM4/Aga-baking oven, 3rd set of runners.
  2. Oil a ring cake tin really well or line a 23cm/9” cake tin with baking parchment.
  3. Soak the dates in the hot tea for 20mins.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and then beat in the eggs one at a time. Fold in the sifted flour.
  5. Add the bicarbonate of soda to the date and tea mixture and fold into the rest of the ingredients. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin.
  6. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven, 30-35mins for the ring cake or 1- 1¼ hrs for the 23cm/9”cake. Place a skewer into the centre of the cake and make sure it comes out clean.  Aga-keep an eye and use the cold plain shelf if the cake gets too dark.
    1. Warm Bushmills SaucePlace all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat gently until melted. Bring to the boil and thicken slightly for 1min.
    2. Turn the cake out onto the serving plate, and whilst still warm, drizzle over some sauce and sprinkle a few salt flakes over the top. Serve with cream.