Tipsy Tart is a South African dessert from the Western Cape area that is usually eaten around Christmas. It also goes by the name of “Cape brandy pudding” or “dadelpoeding”, which means ‘date pudding’ in Afrikaans. Usually soaked in a thick brandy syrup, this cake is served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and can make a delicious substitute for the traditional English Christmas cake, the Anglo-Saxons are so fond of…
Let your mind wander to an exotic place as you relish this divinely rich and heartwarming Tipsy tart, filled with dates and walnuts, soaked in golden brown syrup and topped with whipped cream…
This recipe has been passed down in my family, from generation to generation, and as my grandmother handed it to me one Christmas, I couldn’t help but feel honoured by such a precious gift. This cake will never cease to make you smile with delight, and will forever keep you wanting more…
- 200g of all-purpose flour
- 150g of caster sugar
- A pinch of salt
- 3 teaspoons of baking powder
- A half a teaspoon of baking soda
- 70g of finely chopped walnuts
- 250g pitted dates, chopped
- 250ml of boiling water
- 120g of butter (softened, not melted)
- 2 large eggs
For the syrup
- A few drops of natural vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons of butter, melted
- 130g of caster sugar
- 240ml of boiling water
- 350ml of brandy (optional, if you are making a non-alcoholic tipsy tart which in my opinion, is nicer!)
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease a deep baking pan and set it aside for later.
Baking time: approximately 50 minutes. / Preparation time: approximately 20 minutes
Tip: Take your time making this cake, it’s not an easy recipe to master correctly.
Pit and chop the dates and sprinkle them with the baking soda. Leave to rest while you finely chop the walnuts. Add the boiling water to the dates and leave to sit for 5 to 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, cream the butter and sugar until light and frothy. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix well until combined.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and stir, then add the “dry” mixture to the butter and sugar. Pour the walnuts and dates into the cake batter and fold in gently until well combined. Note: Don’t panic if the cake mixture is quite liquid, this is normal.
Pour the cake mixture into the baking pan and bake for approximately 50 minutes or until the tip of a knife comes out clean. Note: This cake is light and spongy, and will turn a dark brown during the baking process. It might have to cook a little longer depending on the width of your baking tin.
For the syrup
In a small pot, bring the sugar, butter, and water to a boil. Note: the sugar must be completely dissolved. Add the vanilla essence and leave to simmer for a few minutes on a low heat. Note: You can also add the brandy at this point or leave it out if you are making a non-alcoholic tipsy tart.
Pour the hot syrup over the tipsy tart and let it soak in for a few minutes until the liquid is completely absorbed into the cake. Serve this delicious cake still warm from the oven with a large dollop of whipped cream.