Date cake for singles ready to mingle

30 Nov

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Cake Doctor

After a bad break up dented my confidence a year ago, I think I’m finally ready to return to the dating scene. Only trouble is, I don’t remember how to flirt or fawn and am in a panic over what to say! Please prescribe me something for singles?

 Love,

Desperately Seeking

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 Dear Desperately Seeking,

First of all, relax. You’re going to be brilliant. One year off the dating scene’s probably done you a world of good. Now, just be yourself.

What better way to distract from a butterflied stomach than a bit of baking? I’m prescribing you date cake. Date cake with a touch of tamarind – it’s rich and unctuous, a little nutty, and coated in the zest and spice of lemon and cardamom. Sounds like the perfect date to me!

And if the date goes really well, offer him a slice of your delectable loaf – you’ll have him signed, sealed and delivered after just one bite.

Best of luck!

Love,

The Cake Doctor x

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Complaint: single and ready to mingle

Prescription: date cake (inspired by Dan Lepard’s tamarind date cake)

Ingredients

For the cake 

200g chopped dates

50g tamarind paste

300ml water

250g unsalted butter, at room temperature (or, fridge-cold, zapped in the microwave for 30 seconds)

150g soft dark brown sugar

2 eggs, at room temperature

275g plain flour

2 tsp baking soda

100g pecans

For the icing

150g icing sugar

6 cardamom pods

Juice of a lemon

Method

Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celcius (180 if your oven is non-fan-forced) and line a loaf tin with baking paper (lightly grease with butter first to help the paper stick).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place the dates, tamarind paste and water in a small saucepan over a medium heat until boiling.

Boil for one minute, then remove from the heat, add the butter, and set aside for 10 minutes to cool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the brown sugar and eggs, and beat with a freestanding electric mixer, a handheld electric whisk, or just a wooden spoon. Remove from the electric mixer, or set aside the whisk or wooden spoon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sift the flour and baking soda over the bowl and stir gently to combine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chop the pecans roughly, and fold through the mixture gently.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tip the cake mix into your prepared tin and place in the oven for about an hour, or until the top is firm, the sides have come away from the tin, and a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean (slightly glistening is fine).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After about ten minutes, tip the cake out of the tin and leave on a baking rack to cool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the cake is nearly completely cooled, make the icing.

Crush the cardamom pods into a fine powder using a pestle and mortar, the back of a spoon and a bowl, or just a chopping board adn knife.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sift the icing sugar into a small bowl and squeeze in the juice of your lemon. Mix with a fork until your icing is a smooth and drippable consistency. Add some water if need be, and don’t forget to stir in your crushed cadamom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drizzle your icing over the top of your cake, letting it dribble down the sides.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, tuck in! And don’t forget to save a slice or two for the morning…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love,

The Cake Doctor x

One Response to “Date cake for singles ready to mingle”

  1. Louisa 30 November 2012 at 11:27 am #

    Tamarind, cardamom and pecans! This sound so awesome. Sadly, I can’t get tamarind paste in Africa. I’ll have to wait til I get home to make this.

Leave a Reply to Louisa