2 large granny smith apples (or good cooking apples)
1 cup chopped dates
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cream
3/4 cup shredded coconut
Finely chop and combine apples and dates, mix in bicarb soda and boiling water, cover and let stand.
Grease deep 19cm cake pan, line with paper. (ensure the paper rises over the sides of the pan - works well as handles)
Beat butter, sugar and vanilla essence in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add egg and beat until combined. With a wooden spoon, alternatively blend in parts of the apple date mixture and flour. Pour into pan and bake in moderate over for 50 minutes. Pour topping over the top of the cake and sprinkle with additional coconut. Return to over and cook for a further 30 minutes. Topping should be golden brown and caramelised. Allow to cool in pan.
Combine butter, sugar, cream and most of the coconut in a pot, stir over a low heat until butter is melted and ingredients combined.