Spiced Date and Walnut Cake

date-and-walnut-cakeSpicy Date and Walnut cake is a delicious alternative to Christmas cake or a nice tea-time accompaniment. This cake is very moist due to the fruit content and it will remain moist for up to a month if kept in a tin. It can easily be frozen too.

I got into trying this spiced date and walnut cake when one day I had to get into a pantry cleaning mode, these dates were calling out to me to try them out. Also, after I saw the sticky date pudding on Masterchef I had to make something out of the dates. I am fond of spiced and spiked cakes, they add a new dimension to cakes and are also easy on the palette and I also got to test the drip technique for the first time with this cake. 

There are different ways of handling dates in cakes, but the best way is to soften them by boiling them in water and soda. The soda softens the hard coverings and adds to the cakes moisture. 

Ingredients

  • For the cake
    • 175 gms of dates
    • 1 cup – 2 tbsp all purpose flour (225 gm)
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 2 tbsp butter at room temperature
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp mixed spice (1/8 tsp ginger powder + 1 tsp cinnamon + 1/8 tsp cardamom + 1/8 tsp white pepper + 1/8 tsp coriander powder+ 1/8 tsp clove powder + 1/8 tsp nutmeg powder)
    • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
    • 1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (150 gm) dark brown sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 5 tbsp (75 gm) ground almonds
    • 5 tbsp (75 gm) chopped walnuts
    • 8-9 walnut halves for decoration
  • For the icing 
    • 1/2 cup icing sugar
    • 1 tsp lemon juice
    • 1 tsp lemon zest
    • 1 tbsp melted butter
    • 2 tbsp fresh cream

Directions for Spiced Date and Walnut Cake

  1. In a small bowl add 1 cup of boiling water (250 ml to be boiled, will be about 225 ml after boiling), and then add in the butter and soda and stir till the butter has dissolved completely. And if need be mash the mixture a little so that the dates dissolve completely. 
  2. In a separate bowl sift together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, spices). 
  3. In another bowl, beat the egg and then add the sugar and whisk well till well integrated. Now add the dates mixture to this egg mixture and mix well. 
  4. Now add the dry ingredients mixture to this and mix well with a rubber spatula. 
  5. Pour the contents into an 8 inch cake tin and bake for 45 mins or until a toothpick pricked inside in the centre comes out clean.
  6. Let it cool for 10 minutes and then take it out on a cooling rack and let it cool completely. 
  7. Now for the icing, mix all the ingredients and cover the top of the spiced date and walnut cake with this icing, let it spread itself evenly over and drip down the sides of the cake. 
  8. Decorate with the walnut halves and let it set till the icing has set and thickened. 
  9. Serve it warm with a scoop of plain vanilla ice cream or butter scotch ice cream.