Among all the recipes for using up post Hallowe’en pumpkins my daily newspaper had this one today. The author Benjamina Ebuehi was a contestant on Great British Bake Off a few years ago. You can find more of her recipes here.

It sounded delicious, a chocolatey variation on the traditional cake.

And so I set out to make it.

First I gathered the ingredients……

Some were fine, I had the flour, butter*, muscovado sugar, chocolate, cocoa powder, and brandy.

Well, not *quite* enough brandy left in the miniature I’d bought, so I checked out the cocktail trolley.

Everything apart from brandy

And as I expected, because that’s why I’d bought the miniature, there was no brandy. Cointreau and vodka would be a nice alternative wouldn’t it?

Then I remembered all the times we’ve planned on going into the health food store for Medjool dates. Planned being the operative word. Benjamina mentions in the recipe that you can substitute figs or other dried fruits as long as the total quantity of fruit remained the same. Which was lucky because I had a small packet of soft figs I’d bought as snacks. Small is the operative word in that sentence. The alcohol and fruit get mixed together then cooked up with the juice and zest of an orange. We didn’t have any oranges

We had these, they are oranges aren’t they? Just small ones

After these small hiccups mixing up the cake was easy. Although I hope I put the bicarb. in at a suitable point, it was meant to be in the water used to soak the dates. The dates I didn’t have. And the figs didn’t need to be soaked.

I hope it’s meant to be fizzy

It’s a long slow cook so it’s still in the oven. I’ll post an update tomorrow. But any update on taste will need to wait until December. Perhaps it’s for the best that we’re not likely to be hosting guests**

Until tomorrow

Marina xx

*I was also short of butter, so had to use this

**and if we do, we’ll all be so pleased to see each other the food won’t really matter

Update on Sunday. Here’s the cake, out of the tin, brushed with more Cointreau (should have been brandy) and now wrapped and stored until next month.

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