Date and Chocolate Loaf Cake…because this is the first post of the year and must cater to at least one resolution…one of mine this year is to try and cut down on refined sugar…although to be honest, if your food habits are anything like mine, half a date is all that you should ideally have on your dessert plate (if at all!!)J…but, then again, if your food habits are anything like mine, when the cake craving strikes and nothing else but a cake would do – this is the one you should focus your attention on…adapted from the Baking Legend Mary Berry’s recipe from her book “Baking Bible”, this one uses the least amount of butter and sugar in a date cake that I could find amongst all my recipe books and on the world wide web (yes, I could have cut down the chocolate thingy but hey, a girl has got to live a little!!)…worth mentioning - the dates don’t overpower the taste and even the date-hating hubby approves…Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year…I do hope that this year all of us are able to stick to our resolutions longer than ever before J (which means you may find a cake with avocado and stuff here soon enough!!) …Cheers to a good year ahead!! J
Date and Chocolate Loaf Cake
- Stoned Dried Dates, chopped, 150gms ( I used Organic Mejdool dates)
- Boiling Hot Water, 150ml
- Plain Chocolate, 35 % cocoa solids, 100gms
- Dark Chocolate, 70% cocoa solids, 50gms (the original recipe specified 150gms of plain chocolate, 39 % cocoa solids)
- Butter, 45gms (If unsalted, add a pinch of salt to the flour)
- Instant Coffee powder, 1 tsp (my addition)
- Regular All Purpose Flour, 225gms
- Baking Powder, 1 tsp
- Baking soda/ Bicarbonate of soda, 1 tsp
- Demerara Sugar, 45gms (the original recipe specified regular castor sugar)
- Walnuts, 100gms (the original recipe specified 150 gms Brazil nuts)
- Egg, 1 large
- Milk, 150ml
- Vanilla Extract, 1 tsp ( my addition)
- Demerara Sugar, for sprinkling on top, 1 tbsp (I skipped)
Pre-heat the oven to 180C (or 160C fan). Grease and then line a 2lb loaf tin with parchment paper (2lb/900g loaf tin is about 21cm long, 11cm wide and 7cm high )
Stone and roughly chop your dates into (kitchen scissors are easiest for this). Place in a small bowl and pour over the boiling water. Leave to cool and soak for as long as you have – minimum about 30-40 minutes to overnight. ( Chop dates into ½ cm to ¾ cm pieces if you want to hide the dates in the cake, slightly bigger pieces if serving to people not prejudiced against eating dates!!)
Break up the chocolate into small pieces and melt with the butter in a small bowl over a double boiler or in a microwave.
Roughly chop the walnuts and reserve about 2 tbsp for topping the loaf.
Whisk the egg, milk and vanilla extract in a bowl.
Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda (and salt, if using) into a bowl.
Stir in the sugar, coffee and walnuts until thoroughly combined.
Stir in the egg mixture into the dry ingredients, adding the dates and their soaking liquid and the chocolate mixture. Beat well and pour into the prepared tin.
Level the surface and sprinkle over the reserved nuts and sugar.
Bake in the centre of pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes, then loosely cover with parchment paper or foil and bake for a further 35-40 minutes or until the cake is risen and nicely browned and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing cake to a wire rack.
The cake can be kept, wrapped in foil or stored in an airtight container, for about 3-4 days.