Thursday, October 9, 2014

Moto's Warm Date Cake with Toffee Sauce


About 6 to 7 years ago my then roommate, Hely, took me to this gem in Brooklyn, Moto. We then went back with her mother when she was visiting from California & although Chris doesn’t really remember I took him there when we first started dating. It’s only 6.3 miles from where I live now (yes, I googled it) but I haven’t been there in at least 5 years.  It’s a pretty nondescript spot almost hidden by an elevated subway. The design of this quaint cafe pays homage to the old European motorcycle cafes it was inspired by (or at least that’s what Hely told me any way).

Each time I went I left in a dreamlike state fantasizing about the next time I’d visit.  Each meal ended pleasantly with Moto’s warm date cake with toffee sauce. This is what sweet dreams are made of my friends.

It’s a cake made of dates - not for a date although very suitable for one. Dates are fruit. You can find the dried ones usually pitted where they sell nuts in your local grocery store. I always had them growing up in trail mixes. They were always that sweet chewy bite that just tasted good. Apparently fresh dates look like this - & grow on trees which I just found out.

As of late I’ve noticed more dates on the scene mainly as a natural way to sweeten things like smoothies. This cake is definitely sweet (thanks dates!).

The other day for some reason I found myself thinking about Moto’s warm date cake & toffee sauce. I took a gander & did a search & found it! Lucky for me Brooklyn Salt posted the recipe here.  It was spot on.

It was so good I didn’t trust myself with it at home knowing that I would definitely devour every last nibble if left to my own devices.  So I brought it to work.  I’m proud to now have passed on this tasty obsession to my co-workers.  Some of my favorite reviews of the day were:
"That cake was [pause] everything."
"This does not suck.
"This is SO GOOD!"
"OMG it was delicious"
"I’m so glad you have a food blog."
"Mmm breakfast cake. So tasty!"
Ladies of Shobha - I agree.

I think what makes this cake so incredible is that it is an experience that plays on the senses. First, the cake itself is kind of sticky & even a little bit crumbly (mine actually stuck to the pan - not as pretty as I wanted it to be but it worked out). Then, you spoon hot toffee sauce over the top & all of a sudden who cares what the cake looks like it’s all melting into itself & is the most delectably sweet bite! I served mine with some whipped cream to cut the sweet. I think it would be equally delicious with some ice cream on the side for an extra dose of decadence.

Make this cake. Tell me when you do. Leave your love below.
Recipe (via Brooklyn Salt adapted from  LauriBot's Date Cake recipe which is adapted from Mommie Cooks' Sticky Toffee Pudding recipe)

Makes 10-13 servings

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 pound pitted dates, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 extra large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • whipped cream or ice cream (optional for serving)


Toffee Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Make the cake!
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
  2. In a bowl, sprinkle baking soda over dates, toss to coat evenly and then add the boiling water.  Set aside.
  3. Blend sugar and butter together with an electric mixer.  
  4. Mix in the eggs.  
  5. Add in the flour and blend again until all ingredients are incorporated.
  6. In a food processor, blend the dates and water until smooth.  (If you don’t have a food processor, add an extra 3/4 cup of hot water to the dates and add dates and water to the batter as is). Pay attention to the fill line on your food processor if you don't dates and hot liquid with spew all over your counter - like they did on mine. Life lesson.
  7. Add date/water mixture to the batter, mixing well.  
  8. Pour batter into a greased cake pan or cupcake tin.  
  • Bake for: Cake pan:  35-40 mins or until a toothpick, when inserted into thickest part of cake, comes out clean
  • Cupcake tin: 25 mins or until a toothpick, when inserted into thickest part of cake, comes out clean
Make the toffee sauce!
  1. Add all ingredients to a sauce pan over medium heat, stirring frequently. 
  2. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, continuing to stir occasionally.
  3. When the cake is done, pour warm sauce over individual slices and serve immediately.  
  4. Don’t pour sauce over any portion of the cake you will not eat as it will get soggy.  
  5. Store leftover cake separate from sauce.  
  6. Refrigerate sauce and reheat it when you’re ready to serve more cake.
  7. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream for an extra yum factor.










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