Hi friends, I’m back. Actually I came back from India in the last week of August itself, but did not feel like blogging all these days. The trip was mostly good except when my son fell very sick when swine flu was at peak there. Thankfully it was regular flu and he is fine now. I thought of meeting all the food bloggers in Chennai but couldn’t organize it with an hectic schedule. Hope to make it at least the next time.
On a different note, ladies, do you think that your husband is not appreciative of your efforts you put in the home front? Doesn’t he help you around the house? Then pack your bags immediately and fly to India (or anywhere) and stay there at least for a month and see (enjoy) the respect you get when you come back! Even the simplest thing you do will be noticed by your better half. I’m loving it!
I didn’t bake much in the past 2 weeks but for the vegan chocolate cake for my mother-in-law’s birthday (she came with us) and Shilpa’s eggless date cake. The date cake has been in my to-bake list for quite sometime now. Somehow I didn’t get a chance to bake it until recently. We got a big pack of (Lion brand) seedless dates from India and I wanted to use it up. My son also has started going to school full time and I have to pack lunch for him. He usually eats some fruit or some healthy sweet after his lunch and dinner. So I decided to bake this cake.
This date cake has got raving reviews and I have also tasted it myself when my friend Lakshmi baked it for me as muffins. I followed the original recipe mostly but made some changes:
1 I wanted to try a vegan version because I was having some unsweetened soy milk at home. Sometimes soy milk (some brands) can leave an after taste. So I also added 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract which was not mentioned in the original recipe. You can also try flavoring it with cardamom powder.
2 We had kept the dates in the refrigerator and it was very hard. So I soaked it in 3/4th cup warm soy milk. I left it soaked for nearly 15-16 hours. Maybe that much soaking is not required but I didn’t find time to bake it earlier. I blended it in my food processor with the required amount of sugar and while doing so felt that some more liquid might be necessary. So added another 1/4 cup of soy milk (this is not mentioned in the original recipe).
3 1/2 cup of oil is mentioned in the original recipe. Shilpa also mentions that she has tried baking the cake without oil and it turned out good as well, dense though. So I used 1/4 cup vegetable oil and 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce. Measured the oil in liquid measuring mug and the applesauce in dry measuring cup.
The quantity of sugar mentioned is 3/4 cup but I scooped out 2 tablespoons of sugar after measuring.
4 Another change I made was adding 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts instead of just a tablespoon.
5 After incorporating the flour to the wet ingredients I felt that some more liquid can be added so I used 1 tablespoon water.
6 I did not want to frost the cake so I was thinking of something to make the cake look good and the idea of using blanched almonds clicked. So I decided to bake it in an 8-inch square pan and use 16 almonds (4 rows and 4 columns) to decorate the cake, so that I can cut the cake into 16 pieces and each piece will be adorned by one almond. The idea worked and the cake looked very good and was easy to pack as well.
7 My cake was done around the 32nd minute itself. The smell lets you know and you can also see the cake pulling from the sides of the pan. Move the pan to a wire cooling rack. Left it like that for an hour. Tried removing it from the pan later but couldn’t. So I stored it in the fridge overnight and it came out without any difficulty in the
The cake tasted very good. I’m sure that I’m going to bake this date cake quite often. It’s a hit with everybody in my family and my mother-in-law has already asked me to bake this for her when she leaves to India.
Thank you very much Shilpa for posting such an awesome recipe. Special thanks to your aunt for coming up with this fantastic recipe.
I would also like to thank Vaishali for suggesting my blog for the Tried and Tasted Event (which highlights one food blog every month and other food bloggers cook from that blog) started by Zlamushka. Thanks to Zlamushka for accepting the suggestion and also to Poornima for hosting it this month.