Wonderfully moist, easy to make, delicious, soft and light date cake, with very little sugar due to the perfect natural sweetness of the dates, goes wonderfully with a hot cup of tea or coffee.
Put the chopped dates in a bowl, sprinkle the baking soda then add the cup of boiling water. Mix together, then cover and set aside for about 15-20 minutes until the mixture thickens and cools.
To make 1 cup of self rising flour, for every cup of plain/all purpose flour, add 1 and a half tsp of baking powder and a pinch of salt. Sieve together and use.
Grease a loaf pan and line with baking paper. You can also use an 8" round pan.
Sieve the two flours together, then add the nuts into them if you are using. Toss together so that the nuts are well coated with flour.
Mix the sugar and butter until creamy (you can use a machine or by hand), then add the egg and mix until the egg is well combined. Add the vanilla and beat for a few more minutes. Now add the dates mixture and stir using a spatula or wooden spoon. Add the flours with the nuts, and fold into the mixture until well-combined.
Pour into the prepared pan, and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for about 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.