You need

250g dates, chopped

170ml boiling water

50ml butter, at room temperature

200ml dark brown sugar

1 extra large egg

Zest of one orange

250 ml cake flour

5ml bicarbonate of soda

15ml baking powder

10ml ground cinnamon

1ml ground cloves

10ml ground ginger

5ml salt

50ml pecans, chopped

For the syrup you need:

150ml white sugar

200ml orange juice

5ml vanilla extract

25ml butter

80-100ml brandy

To decorate

Optional: thin slices of orange, orange zest strips, herbs or edible flowers

To serve

250ml whipping cream

To prepare

Preheat the oven to 190°C

Spray a 22cm ring cake tin with non-stick stray

Mix the dates and boiling water, then set aside to soak until cooled.

Cream the butter, sugar and egg until fluffy. Add the orange zest

Sift the dry ingredients into the soaked dates, then add this to the wet ingredients.

Fold in the pecans, taking care not to over mix.

Pour into the cake tin and bake for 35–40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out with small crumbs attached to it.

Turn the cake out, let it stand for about 10minutes, then return it to the cake tin.

To make the syrup

Combine the sugar and orange juice in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients.

Once you have placed the cake back in the tin, and while it is still hot pour the syrup over the cake, allow to soak in, then remove from the tin.

Once all the syrup has soaked in invert the cake onto the serving platter.

Serve the cake warm or at room temperature with whipped cream