Beryl Tate the Kitchen Doctor E-mail:

INGREDIENTS to make a 20 cm (8") cake :-

110 g (4 oz) dried stoned dates - chopped

110 g (4 oz) margarine - softened

3 medium eggs - beaten

150 g (5 oz) carrot - peeled and finely grated

175 g (6 oz) pear - peeled, cored, and puréed

175 g (6 oz) wholemeal flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

half teaspoon mixed spice

half teaspoon salt


2 tablespoons pear and apple spread

200 ml (7 fl oz) fromage frais

grated rind of an orange


Grease and line a 20 cm (8") cake tin.

If the dates are hard and dry, pour boiling water over them in a bowl until just covered, and leave to soften for 10 minutes, before draining well.

Cream the soft margarine in a mixing bowl.

Add the chopped dates, beaten eggs, grated carrot, and pear purée, then mix well.

Sieve all the remaining dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, and mix again.

Place the mixture into the prepared cake tin, and level the top.

Bake at Gas Mark 5 / 375F / 190C (170C for fan oven) for 25 - 30 minutes, until the cake is firm to the touch.

Leave to cool slightly before removing to a cooling rack.

Heat the fruit spread in a pan until soft, then stir in the fromage frais and orange rind.

Evenly spread the topping over the cake and leave to firm up.