Wednesday, 14 August 2013


Sharing a family recipe: my mum used to write down recipes from the TV when my sister and I were babies. They are often on small scraps of paper, like memo note block sheets and usually in shorthand with cup rings and splashes of butter or whatever. 
Anyway, she recently allowed me access to the special box where she keeps all these recipes and agreed I could take the recipe for Gunge, which is one of my favourites! We used to have it on holiday which was often on my Grandad's boat and involved a daily picnic on the beach somewhere. I remember tasting dates on their own for the first time and only then realising that Gunge contained dates. It's basically a yummy sticky caramelly tray bake. Comforting and with a lovely sticky and crunchy texture. Enjoy!! 

This is the original scrap I was given:

And this is the translation:
2 tbsp of self raising flour (it says 1 but that is wrong!)
3/4 tbsp of walnuts (or other nuts, I have used pistachios and almonds)
I cup of dark soft brown sugar
1/2 pack of stoned dates - not the ones in a tray. In a pack, usually with whole foods and baking in the supermarket.
4oz butter
1 egg

Melt butter and dates in a pan (did try this in the microwave as with the Foolproof flapjack recipe but the dates completely disintegrated!) until soft.
Add sugar and rest of ingredients, apart from the egg.
Mix together.
Finally add the egg and combine gently, trying to keep some of the dates in shape! 
Mixture will appear quite moist - which is fine! If it is dripping in a torrent off the spoon, add a little more flour.
Put in a lined tin and cook at 190c for 20-30 minutes.

I usually double this recipe and it goes perfectly in a deep sided roasting tin. 
I melted the sugar in with the dates and butter this time and this makes it even quicker. 
When I first made this, Andy accused me of having kept it from him for last 12 years of our relationship! He describes it as the sauce from a sticky toffee pudding made into a sticky yummy cake! 
It keeps for ages (well, it could do if we didnt eat it!!) and doesn't melt so great for journeys or picnics. 

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