Wednesday, 29 October 2014

This is the date to bake a cake

Every day should be cake day, shouldn’t it? Well, if you have the need for some cake in your life, then this is the one for you.

 Sweet, caramel-y, moist and rich. Yes please.

 Easy to make. Yes please.

 Suitable for everyone, including vegans and gluten free folks. Yes please.

This amazing eggless date cake is easy to veganize as it needs no weird egg replacer and can be made with regular flour, but also works well with GF flour. Win-win.

I first saw this yesterday on one of the vegan blogs that I follow. She had gotten the link from this blog. The cake is naturally egg free and just by using plant based milk instead of cow’s milk could be easily converted. I tried it gluten free and it was perfect so I imagine regular flour would be just as amazing. I cut back on the oil and it was plenty moist. Next time I might even cut back on the sugar a bit as well.

Because you soak the dates to soften them you don’t need to pay high prices for expensive moist dates (Medjool I’m talking to you). I used halawi dates that I buy for £1 for 200g (about 27 dates) at Tesco. You could probably get by with using drier deglat noor dates and just soak them a bit longer.

Delicious Date Cake

Preheat your oven to 350F/180C degrees. Grease an 8 x 8 square pan.

You need:

Roughly 18 dates, pitted. If they are big use less.

¾ cup milk of your choice (we used Oatly)

¾ cup sugar (I used Tate &  Lyle brown sugar with stevia--you can use half to get the same sweetness--I used 1/3 cup T&L)

1 cup all purpose flour (I used GF plus 1 tsp xanthan gum)

1 tsp baking SODA (not baking powder)

1/4 cup canola) oil (it is plenty moist with just ¼ cup oil. Original recipe called for ½ cup. Seriously. You don‘t need it. Use ¼ cup)

 1. Put your dates in the milk and warm the milk slightly on the stove top or microwave and let it sit for about 15 minutes to soften the dates.

2. Sift your flour and baking soda and xanthan gum (if GF) in a bowl.

3. Stir the sugar into the warm milk/date mixture and stir until it dissolves. Put the whole lot in the blender and blend until smooth.

4. Add the oil to the date puree and stir well to combine.

5. Slowly add your flour mixture 1 heaping TB at a time and stir. I know….that seems a bit of a faff. But trust me.

6. The batter will be VERY stiff. Resist the urge to add more liquid.

7. Spoon the stiff batter into your greased pan.

8. Bake for 30-40 minutes (mine was just right at around 32 minutes) or until a knife inserted in the cake comes out clean.

That’s it!

Look at the deep brown colour! See that sticky moistness! Taste that caramel-y goodness! It is a bit like sticky toffee pudding without the sticky toffee sauce on top. Okay, so maybe not much like sticky toffee pudding then.   

But what it is gorgeous.

 Make it for your vegan friends!

Make it for your gluten free friends!

Make it for anyone who likes cake!

Make it for yourself!

Make some for me!

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