Tuesday 27 September 2011

New Haven Chocolate Cake

I've collected tasty looking recipes from newspapers and magazines for as long as I can remember but I don't always use them right away. In fact I'm guessing that I've have had the following recipe for a date, walnut and chocolate cake for about 20years without trying it....one mustn't rush these things!

It's absolutely wonderful, very moist and chocolaty with the added benefits of dried fruit and chopped nuts and wholemeal flour. This cake also freezes beautifully so I'm sure you could double the recipe and quickly put the 'spare' into the freezer.

Here is the recipe I modified.

You'll need.....

250gms chopped dates(use your kitchen scissors)
1t bicarb of soda
1 1/2 cups of boiling water

250gms butter(I got away with 230gms)
1 cup of sugar(again I reduced this)
2 eggs(free range of course)
1 and 1/3 cups plain (wholemeal) flour
pinch of salt
2T cocoa ( this I increased

125gms choc bits
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup of soft brown sugar

Soak the dates and bicarb in the boiling water and leave until cold.

Cream butter and eggs and then beat in the eggs.
Add the flour, salt, cocoa and the date mixture(with all the water) and mix well.
Pour into your cake tin(lined with baking paper or well greased) and sprinkle the top with the choc bits, walnuts and brown sugar. I didn't have choc bits or brown sugar so I mixed the walnuts into the batter with the flour etc.

Bake for at least an hour (mine took 90mins) at 160C until a sharp knife comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake.
Dad enjoyed it so much he ate 3 slices for afternoon tea last Friday lol!

Here's the original yellowing recipe in my file...it says it can be made 2 days ahead and freezes well. A "keeper" indeed.

How has your week started out? Do you have a favourite family chocolate recipe to share?

Enjoy your day, 
Love from Sue


  1. This looks and sounds absolutely delicious :)
    I am going to add this to my list of 'yummy foods to try out'.
    I loved the ' one mustn't rush these things'!
    makes me feel so much better about my long list of to do/to try/to make/ to bake :)
    I will get to it all, in time, in the right time for it!

  2. Hi,
    I am wondering if you could share the traditional Christmas cake recipe.
    I remember mum used to make, an off-white/cream colored cake with currants, glazed cherries etc.

    I am guessing there are 2 kinds of x'mas cakes..the brown one and the off-white one - could you share both these recipes.


  3. Hallo Ishieta...have you joined the Down to Earth Forums yet? Rose is doing a Christmas cake bake-along and sharing a good recipe in the steps it takes. The mixed dried fruits are soaked in brandy or fruit juice for many days and then cake is baked many weeks in advance of Christmas on December 25th.
    If you do want to join the forums you can do through Rhonda's blog...you will be made very welcome there and find other recipes for cakes and meals.
    This is very good recipe, the Women's Weekly have a huge range of cookbooks, all with lovely recipes. "http://aww.ninemsn.com.au/food/cookbooks/787300/best-ever-boiled-fruit-cake"

    If the long list of ingredients looks daunting I can certainly find simpler recipes such as my Nan's pound cake for you.

    Did your mother put icing on the cakes she made?

    PS it's just taken me over 2 years to finish a tiny patchwork 1 square yard in size...something that mustn't be rushed! ;)


  4. Oh that looks delish!!
    I'm a bit like you Sue, heaps of recipes collected over the years and never tried out. I even have books of recipes cut from magazines and newspapers that belonged to my Grandmother and my Mum. Some of Nana's are from the 30's. A few weeks ago I finally got round to making a orange cake that my Nana use to make. The recipe was hand written by my Mum in the 1960's. Lovely cake and sweet memories.

  5. Any information, Sue on the name of this cake?

  6. Hi Helen, all I can tell you is that it was submitted by a reader of the Sunday Times newspaper in Perth, WA around 20-25 yrs ago. There would be a couple of pages of Reader's Recipes and some were very good, they no long have that section in the newspaper.