Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dates cake - a very successful date with some dates

Baking is indeed therapeutic, I completely understand why good bakers are happy with the world :-). My affair with baking started late and I am still an extremely in-proficient baker at best, but that doesn't stop me from trying and when something clicks and the baked goods vanish quickly with some slurps, my day is made. I am not talking of any big league baking here, what I made the other day was a very simple dates cake which turned out super moist and fluffy not to mention delicious. That says something especially given the fact that it absolutely had no butter or eggs, don't believe it? Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think.

Hers is a blog I chanced on a year or so ago, before I was a blogger and I love everything about Nupur's blog. I have book marked her site and visit often. She wrote about this eggless dates cake recently and referenced two other blogger sites that had posted about it and I shamelessly followed the link to one of them to learn about the recipe, well.. isn't that what a blogger is supposed to do?. It is a recipe posted a year back and seemed really simple. I followed the recipe to the T (I don't mess with proportions while baking, I reserve all the adventure to my other cooking :-)), when the family tasted it, there were oohs and aahs all around. I knew I had a keeper, thanks Sandeepa for the recipe and Nupur for pointing me in that direction.

Dates are naturally sweet, soft and have huge health benefits. They are rich in iron, potassium, antioxidant flavonoids, dietary fiber and are made of simple sugars to quickly replenish energy. I always keep a box of dates in my kitchen, they are my go to sweets to calm down the sweet craving I get after food :-). I have had been unsuccessful in feeding these healthy fruits to DD as she doesn't like something(!) about them, obviously she doesn't tell me what it is but she just refuses to eat dates. I am glad to have found a pretty healthy way to send some good dates into her system. As she was polishing off the cake the other day, she tells me that everything tasted good in cakes as if that explains it :-).

Back to the recipe, it is a cake because it is baked, turns out moist, super fluffy and yummy but does not have butter or eggs. When I made it the first time, I was not prepared for the response to it and hence had not taken any pictures. When the family loved it, I made it for a second time in 3 days on the pretext of a party at my DD's dance school so I could take pictures for the blog :-). I know, very selfish, bloggers are crazy people like that but I also honestly meant to send something for one of the girls for whom they had the party.

4/17/2016 update: By some flash of brilliance, I added seeds from 2 cardamom while grinding the dates. The baking took me and my home to a heavenly abode hereto unvisited. Absolutely divine smell and taste. Go ahead and add the cardamom next time you bake this cake. I am adding it to the list below :-)
What do you need for Dates cake? 
18-20 dates, pitted/seeds removed
3/4 cup milk - I used organic fat free
1/2 cup sugar (I used 3/4 cup the first time but reduced it on my second attempt)
seeds from 2 green cardamoms
1 cup all purpose flour/maida
1 Tsp baking soda
1 cup chopped nuts (walnut, almonds, pecans or a combination)
1/2 cup cooking oil (I used sun flower oil that I normally cook with)
How do you make Dates cake? 
  • Soak dates in milk for about 6-8 hours, preferably overnight. (See Notes below if you are pressed for time)
  • Grind soaked dates and milk along with the sugar & cardamom seeds in a blender to get a smooth paste. 
  • Sift flour with baking soda and keep ready. 
  • Pour the dates paste into a wide mouthed bowl, add oil and mix it well with a spoon. 
  • Add flour and baking soda slowly and keep stirring with a spoon. 
  • At this point, I used my hand blender and gave the mixture a whirl for about 2 minutes. You can use a hand whisk or even a spoon to give it a good mix. 
  • Fold in the chopped nuts. 
  • Heat the oven at 350F, prepare a 8 inch pan with cooking spray.
  • Pour the mixture into the pan, bake it for 20-25 minutes until a knife comes out clean. 
  • Take it out of the oven, let it cool before slicing. 
  • If you are in a hurry, luke warm the milk and soak dates for 2 hours. The dates will actually start to melt into the milk.
  • You do not see nuts in the pictures as there were kids with nut allergies at the party, but adding nuts not only makes it flavorful but gives an additional healthy boost. 
  • Exact baking time may vary based on your oven, baking pan etc, so keep a watch from 20 min onwards. 


Gayathri NG said...

Looks so soft n moist date cake, tempting pics...

Akila said...

It is indeed super moist cake.... First time here n whenu get time do visit my blog....

Event: Dosh name starts with L


NamsVeni Pothas said...

looks very tasty and healthy

chef and her kitchen said...

one of my fav cake..looks nice

Recipe World said...

Looks so soft & yummy.. Its one of my fav..

Faiza Ali said...

Baked this for blog hop and it turned out very yummy :)Have posted it.