(360 grams) fresh dates, pitted and chopped
1 1/2 cups
(375 ml) boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons
(about 1 stick and 3 tablespoons) unsalted butter
(170 grams) brown sugar
1 1/2 cups
(225 grams) self-rising flour
mixed spice (pumpkin pie spice is a fine substitute)
1 1/3 cups
(400 grams) store-bought dulce de leche
Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Line 2 lightly greased 12-centimeter round cake tins with non-stick baking paper, allowing an extra 2 centimeters of paper to overhang at the top of each tin.
Place the dates, water and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl and set aside for 10 minutes to soften slightly.
Place the date mixture, butter, and sugar in a food processor and process until well-combined. Add the eggs, flour, cinnamon, and mixed spice and process until just combined. Divide the mixture between the prepared tins.
Cook for 55–60 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Trim the top off each cake and place each on a cake stand. Using a small palette knife, spread the dulce de leche around the top and sides of the cakes. Decorate the tops with star anise