1.Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease and line a 20cm round springform cake pan.
2.Place the dates, almonds, brown sugar and cardamom in a bowl and toss to combine.
3.Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla bean paste in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. On a low speed, add the beaten egg, a little bit at a time, alternating with a spoonful of flour. Gradually add the milk, then the remaining flour and salt.
4.Spread half the batter into the prepared pan; sprinkle with half the date mixture. Top with the remaining batter, then the remaining date mixture.
5.Bake for 1 hour, then cover with foil and bake for a further 15 minutes, or until cooked when tested (a skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean).
6.Cool cake in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack to cool.
7.Sprinkle cake with the sifted icing sugar and serve.
Suitable to freeze. Not suitable to microwave.Note