ROYAL WEDDING WATCH
The princess-to-be is a big fan of this treat served at the Old Boot Inn near her hometown in England
8 oz. pitted dates, chopped
1¼ cups boiling water
⅓ cup softened butter (3½ tbsp. for batter, use the rest to butter the pan)
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 tbsp. black treacle or dark molasses
1 tbsp. Lyle's Golden Syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups self-rising cake flour
1 tbsp. baking soda
FOR TOFFEE SAUCE:
½ cup superfine sugar
7 tbsp. butter
6 oz. English double cream
1. In a bowl, cover dates with boiling water. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 375. Place a roasting pan filled with about 1 inch of water into the oven.
3. Butter a 9"×9" pan. Dust with flour. In a bowl, with an electric mixer, beat 3½ tbsp. butter with sugar until combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add treacle, Golden Syrup and vanilla. Mix until just combined. On low speed, add the flour.
4. In a food processor, puree the dates. Stir in the baking soda and stir mixture into the batter. Pour into the prepared pan. Place in roasting pan and bake about 35 minutes until top is just firm. Remove from oven and cool slightly.
5. Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt sugar and butter until mixture turns a deep amber color. Watch closely so it does not burn. Slowly mix in the double cream. Be careful: It will bubble up at first. Once all the cream is added, cook mixture until it is thick enough to coat a spoon. Cut cake into squares and serve with sauce and vanilla ice cream.
THROW AN OSCAR PARTY!
Movie-themed ideas from Academy Awards party planner Cheryl Cecchetto
THE KING'S SPEECH
"Serve English tea sandwiches and blueberry scones on a triple-tiered tray," says Cecchetto. "They're great party food."
THE SOCIAL NETWORK
"Grab-and-go treats allow for socializing," says Cecchetto. "That's what Facebook's all about." (Custom M&Ms at mymms.com)
FOR THE RECIPE, GO TO PEOPLE.COM/OSCARPARTY
White chocolate martinis topped with dark chocolate shavings "tie in beautifully with the black-and-white motif of the film."
Let guests spice up their popcorn with a barbecue rub served in a ramekin. "It's western flavor and it's fun," she says.