(Family Features) If you're looking for a way to cook up some romance this Valentine's Day, skip the traditional box of chocolates and try an impressive dessert instead.
This recipe for Dreamy Medjool Date Pudding Cake with Caramel Infusion uses Bard Valley Natural Delights, the popular dates grown by a small group of family farmers in the Southwest.
Sweet, succulent and with a caramel-like flavor, Medjool dates were once reserved for royalty. But you can delight in these luscious fruits any time and give your Valentine the royal treatment.
For more delectable recipes ripe for romance, visit www.naturaldelights.com.
Dreamy Medjool Date Pudding Cake with Caramel Infusion
Prep Time: 75 minutes
Butter and powdered cocoa, to prepare pan
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup Bard Valley Natural Delights Medjool Dates, pitted and chopped (about 10)
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups self-rising flour, sifted
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cups whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter
Preheat oven to 350F.
To prepare baking pan, brush inside of a Bundt pan thoroughly with melted butter. Liberally sprinkle powdered cocoa over butter, then turn upside down and tap to remove excess cocoa.
In small bowl, sprinkle baking soda over dates. Add water and set aside for 20 minutes.
In large bowl, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Using a large metal spoon, fold in date mixture and flour until well mixed. Batter will be thin.
Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to stand for about one minute, then carefully turn onto a plate.
To make the caramel sauce, set saucepan over medium heat and add sugar, cream, vanilla and butter. Cook, stirring often, until sauce comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 2 more minutes.
While cake is still warm, use a wooden skewer to make holes all over the top of the cake. Pour half of the warm sauce over the warm cake. Garnish with glace cherries, if desired.
Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Cut into slices and serve with remaining sauce. Serve immediately.