Thursday, June 25, 2020

Mini Date Loaf Cake

Mini is the name of the game these days because when I'm left to my own devices, I WILL consume a whole batch of anything fresh from the oven :)  And right now we are still very close to our homes and kitchens. I'm pretty much eating every hour. Who feels me?

Making this mini date loaf is so simple and makes enough for a single household or to share with little eaters. You don't need huge quantities to make this recipe so it's perfect for using up that last bit of flour, sugar and butter that you have left from your last baking adventure.

The spices throughout this loaf will make your house smell incredible! It's so cozy and comforting. Slather a slice with salted butter or nut butter and it's pure heaven. A drizzle of honey wouldn't be such a bad idea either. 

The small size means it takes half the time to bake compared to a full-sized loaf so no need to have the oven on for hours during the hot Summer either. I like that!

How to make a great date cake:

Dates play two functions - not only do they taste great and add sweetness, but they also contain soluble fiber which helps to bind and add structure so less flour is needed. That means that the clean flavours of butter, fruit and spices comes through nicely. Even though there's 2/3 cup of water in this recipe, you only need 3/4 cup of flour because the dates play some of the structural role too.

If you fancy extras in your loaf cakes, feel free to add chocolate chips or walnuts or pecans. 

I would suggest to serve this with a Easy Salted Caramel Sauce!

Let me ask you one question though...

Are you surprised I resisted the urge to put chocolate chips in it!? HAHA!
I was tempted, but thought it would be totally sacrilegious ;)

This is the first non-chocolate post in a while, but promise I'll be back on chocolate track next week!

Mini Date Loaf Cake

makes 1 small loaf

3/4 cup (100g) chopped pitted dates 

2/3 cup (160ml) water

4 tbsp (56g) unsalted butter

½ cup (110g) packed light brown sugar

1 tsp (5ml) pure vanilla extract

1 large egg, at room temperature

3/4 cup (105g) all-purpose flour

½ tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Combine chopped dates and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes until very soft. Mash until dates absorb the liquid and it resembles applesauce. Set it aside to cool slightly for at least 10 minutes so that it is still warm but not hot.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 8x4-inch loaf pans with parchment paper.

Beat butter with brown sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy (or in a large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Add egg and beat well. Beat on high to smooth out the mixture so it starts to look creamy and pale. It may look slightly curdled in spots but that’s ok because it will come together once the dry ingredients are added.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl, then gradually add it to the wet ingredients while mixing on low speed until just combined. Fold in warm date mixture until evenly incorporated and smooth using a spatula. 

Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool.

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