Sticky Toffee Date Cakes with Creme Fraiche Icing and Almond Praline

These cakes have a super moist date base, then are filled with caramel, topped with vanilla creme fraiche icing and garnished with almond praline (you can also add edible flowers and raspberries like I did if you wish). Also make sure you don't over fill them with mixture as they do rise a fair amount, so you will have a bit of mixture left over that you can use to make mini cupcakes. 

Sticky date cakes

190g dates, roughly chopped
180ml boiling water
100g white spelt flour
100g wholemeal spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
90g butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
160g maple syrup
zest of half an orange and half a lemon

3/4 cup dulce de leche

Pre-heat the oven to 180c and line a 12 hole muffin tray with paper cases.
Pour the boiling water over the dates and set aside to soak.
Mix together the dry ingredients and set aside.
Beat the butter until pale and fluffy then add the eggs one at a time, if it starts to curdle, mix in 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture. Add the rest of the flour mixture, vanilla, maple syrup, zest and dates and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared tins until about 2/3 full (don't over fill). 
bake until skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Use an apple corer to take the middle out of each cupcake and fill with the dulce de leche. set aside.

Creme Fraiche Icing

250g creme fraiche
1/4 cup sifted icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

1/2 cup crushed almond praline

Place all ingredients in a bowl and beat with an electric beater until smooth and fluffy. Place in a piping bag fitted with a 1cm circle nozzle. 

Pipe the icing on top of the cupcakes and top with the crushed praline and any other garnishes of your choice. 

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