I have always loved everything related to books but was never quite sure about my love for food until I got married to a man whose palate always itches to try something different from the same old, same old.
This isn’t about how much I eat because up till this moment, I’m not the kind of girl who fills up her belly. But since I met my husband in real life (within the four walls of our home), I’ve not only learnt to pay great attention to the quality of what goes into our bellies, I also look forward to every new meal. So for me, cooking is not a chore but an adventure. It always feels great to try my hands at making something new. From homemade sandwiches made with homemade spiced beef and lettuce, to Thai inspired lemongrass and mint beef curry, nothing beats seeing the excited face of my household as we sit down to our food.
Because of my love for reading, I’ve been catapulted to discovering the intricately entwined relationship between food and books. From reading food blogs to downloading food memoirs, every food-related word has me scampering to the kitchen because I just have to try out the new party jollof rice recipe or maybe I will finally attempt a fiber rich chocolate pastry. Who knew that food and words could go together?
This Eid for my family is going to be a food affair just like for everyone. But lately, I’ve discovered that desserts are just like the feather in the cap. They’re the Oh! So “gorgeous” that accompany the tomato sauces, the vegetable soups, fruit juices, grilled peppered beef and nestle chocolate drinks. And this edition is a game changer as I’ll be gracing the show with another version of our favourite cake – the decadent date chocolate cake with sticky toffee glaze. This cake is the bomb! The date paste makes it so moist and melty in the mouth and the toffee glaze gives it a satiny finish, making it so tasty and beautiful to the sight. Present it with a flourish at your Eid party or dinner and the “oohs” and “aahs” you will get from it will make it one unforgettable experience. And what more? You really don’t have to worry about the few extra pounds that you think will neutralize your weight loss program. Just indulge
The original version of this decadent date chocolate cake belongs to Umm-e-Ismael which she published in issue 58 of Sisters Magazine. But I’ve tweaked a few things around it to make it my own custom edition. As with all cakes, this cake tastes better the next day. So It’s wiser to bake it a day before Eid.
THE DATE PASTE
This recipe yields two cups of date paste.
- 40 good quality dates
- Warm water for soaking
- 2 tbsp distilled water
- Soak dates in warm water
- Remove from water and remove all stones by hand
- Combine all the dates and two tablespoons of water in a food processor
- Stop the food processor at intervals and scrape down the sides
- Puree until thick and creamy
EXTRA TIP: You can add a squeeze of lemon juice instead of water for a tangy sweetener.
It’s a good idea to make date paste in bulk and freeze in an air tight container. That way, It comes in handy whenever you need it
THE DECADENT DATE CHOCOLATE CAKE
- 2 cups date paste
- 2 cups hot coffee
- 500g butter
- 400g White sugar
- 8 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons vanilla essence
- 500g All-purpose flour
- 2 cups cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon or nutmeg powder
- Juice and zest of 1 orange
- 1 cup, good quality chocolate, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 180°C
- Grease a 10 inch cake pan with butter. Put the pan on baking parchment and with a pencil, mark a circle on the parchment. Cut and insert parchment in pan. Butter the paper.
- Cover date paste with hot coffee and leave to soak
- Beat butter and sugar in bowl and add eggs one at a time. Add Vanilla essence and beat thoroughly
- Place a fine sieve over the bowl and sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon powder into the bowl. Mix well.
- Puree coffee and date paste in blender. Pour in batter. Add orange juce and zest. Mix well and fold in the chopped chocolates
- Pour in the baking pan and bake for a maximum of 60 mins. The cake is done when you see the edges begin to pull away.
- Let it cool for 5 – 10 minutes before turning into a serving plate.
THE STICKY TOFFEE GLAZE
- 5 tbsp butter
- ½ cup white sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- A pinch of salt
- ½ cup cream
- 1 cup chopped chocolate pieces
- Add butter, sugar, water and salt to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Continue boiling for 2-3 minutes
- Remove from heat. Whisk in crean, then chocolate. Let cool until thickened.
- Pour over the decadent date chocolate cake, letting the silky glaze drip down the sides. It will set almost immediately.
So this is it. It’s best to make a larger size as this heavenly cake doesn’t last long. (two days max in my own home). Now you can try something totally different this Eid. Once again, don’t forget to be creative with your recipe. I can’t wait to see other variations of this gorgeous decadent date chocolate cake.