Oh this cake. I could sing songs, write sonnets and do a bit of dance and tell you how unbelievably heavenly this cake was. Instead I’m just going to do a bit of unhinged prose and explain with all the emphasis at my disposal about the fabulousness that is this Date & nut cake. It’s appearance as humble as it might seem is most beguiling and hides the delectable reality of this exquisite cake.
You might be tempted to write off this cake at the merest first glance as any old fruit cake, but one bite and you’d be lost. You’d be lost and in a labyrinthine maze of cake heaven realize with each chewy/crunch/crumbly/flavoursome bite that this cake is indeed one of the most tasteful, scrumptious cake ever to have floated out of your oven.
It’s the orchestra of soft sweet dates contrasting with nut crunch and underlined with a medley of sublime spice flavours that makes this cake an addictive must.
it’s a date & nut cake, so it has dates and nuts and milk, sugar, egg, flour, butter, vanilla extract, clove powder (ground cloves), orange zest, cinnamon, baking powder, crushed pepper.
start by adding baking powder to the flour and mixing it thoroughly. Keep it aside.
As with most cake recipes this one starts with creaming the butter and sugar in a bowl. Make sure the butter is at room temperature. Mine was not 😦
beat or cream the butter, add in the sugar
add the orange zest
beat until it sort of looks like this, or you can do a better job if the butter is room temperature.
crack in an egg
splash in some vanilla
and beat again until well mixed. My batter looks a bit curdled and that’s because I didn’t use room temperature butter. It’s too cold here for anything to be room temperature..but this curdling won’t matter..and you’ll see.
add in the flour
followed by spices..cinnamon, ground cloves
crushed black pepper
mix a bit and add milk
followed by chopped dates
and mix until just barely mixed. Do Not overmix the batter.
scrape batter into a baking tin of choice. I’ve lined mine with some baking paper.
smoothen the top and bake at 180°C for 55-60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out completely clean
let it cool. Slice and enjoy!
Dates: 170g (1 overflowing cup)
Nuts: 130g (1 cup). I used a mix of pecans and walnuts, but you can use whatever is easily available.
Sugar: 100g (1/2 cup)
Flour: 120g (1 cup)
Butter: 100g (1/2 cup)
Milk: 50 mls (1/4cup)
Vanilla extract: 1 tsp
baking powder: 1.5 tsp
Orange zest: 1 tbsp
black pepper (crushed): 1/4 tsp
Cinnamon: 1/2 tsp
crushed cloves: 1/4 tsp
Recipe instructions: Chop the dates and soak in 1 cup of hot water to soften them and keep aside.
Add the baking powder into the flour and mix well and keep aside.
Cream the room temperature butter with the sugar and orange zest until light and fluffy. Crack in the egg, add vanilla extract and beat for another minute until well combined. Add in the flour, followed by spices. Mix roughly and add in the milk until just mixed.
Drain the dates and add into the batter, followed by nuts and do not over mix the batter.
Scrape the batter into a well greased baking tin and bake at 180°C for 55-60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out completely clean.
Let cool before slicing.