Friday, September 16, 2011

Jenny's Date Cake ~ A Personal Touch


Was on holiday in Bangalore with family and loads of friends to catch up with. How can any holiday be complete for me without baking. Mami(the sweetheart that she is) had kept a recipe for me to try out. I was a bit skeptical about a date cake..... You'll read below about how wrong I was. Mami n I had such a fun time making this cake..... :)

The cake turned out amazing. Had taken it along when I visited Suma of Cakes and More and Madhuri of Cook-curry Nook. Both of them flipped out. Suma's kids wanted seconds and thirds..... Anytime children ask for seconds on a non chocolate cake..... preserve the recipe forever. Kids are the best critiques of comfort food and taste :)
Madhuri wanted the recipe to try out.... another testimonial..... A really cool fellow baker who takes classes in baking is asking for the recipe.... The recipe is a keeper, people....

Date Cake
Ingredients:
4 eggs
3/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
2 Cups Flour (sifted)
2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
2 Teaspoon Grated Ginger
6 Tablespoons Butter
1 Cup Gur

Date Sauce:
3 cups Chopped Dates
3 Cups Water
1+1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda

Caramel Sauce:
Ingredients:
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Butter [you can add more butter if you prefer a thicker sauce]
1 Cup Cream

Method:
Date Sauce:
1. To make the date sauce, boil the water and chopped dates till pulpy and squishy for about 20-30 minutes. As soon as you get a thick sauce add the baking soda and stir well.
Tip: Be sure to have a vessel thrice as large in volume as the sauce, the mixture will bubble up quite a lot. Put it aside to cool till room temperature
Cake:
2. Cream the butter and gur, till well incorporated.
3. Add 1 egg at a time and beat till incorporated.
4. Stir in the room temperature date sauce.
5. Fold in the sifted flour with Baking powder and spices.
Tip: Jenny's secret to this amazing cake.... mix it by hand. She says it adds the personal touch to the cake.

Caramel Sauce:
[am shamelessly picking up the steps from simplyrecipes.com as they've written it exactly like I wuold have done it along with instructions :) ]
1. First, before you begin, make sure you have everything ready to go - the cream and the butter next to the pan, ready to put in. Making caramel is a fast process that cannot wait for hunting around for ingredients. If you don't work fast, the sugar will burn. Safety first - make sure there are no children under foot and you may want to wear oven mitts; the caramelized sugar will be much hotter than boiling water.

2. Heat sugar on moderately high heat in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart or 3-quart saucepan. As the sugar begins to melt, stir vigorously with a whisk or wooden spoon. As soon as the sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring. You can swirl the pan a bit if you want, from this point on.
Note that this recipe works best if you are using a thick-bottomed pan. If you find that you end up burning some of the sugar before the rest of it is melted, the next time you attempt it, add a half cup of water to the sugar at the beginning of the process, this will help the sugar to cook more evenly, though it will take longer as the water will need to evaporate before the sugar will caramelize.

3.
As soon as all of the sugar crystals have melted (the liquid sugar should be dark amber in color), immediately add the butter to the pan. Whisk until the butter has melted.

4. Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat. Count to three, then slowly add the cream to the pan and continue to whisk to incorporate. Note than when you add the butter and the cream, the mixture will foam up considerably. This is why you must use a pan that is at least 2-quarts (preferably 3-quarts) big.

5. Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then pour into a glass mason jar and let sit to cool to room temperature. (Remember to use pot holders when handling the jar filled with hot caramel sauce.) Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Warm before serving.


Another noteworthy tip would be to use the best dates that you can get. The dried up ones won't do much for this cake but the semi moist ones will take the cake's flavor and consistency to a different level. We arrived at this conclusion after making the cake twice with different dates each time.

Note to Self: Am in love with Mr. Faber after making this cake... Total convert.......

Verdict:
The end was just mindblowingly fantastic... [pardon the grammar but this cake really deserves this praise n more]. The firm crust and soft moist insides with flavors which just have to be eaten to be believed. The caramel sauce packs-in-a-punch, by adding body and multiplying the flavor by 100.
This recipe is definitely a keeper forever :)
Talking about this cake has made me drool again..... I need another slice... running to the kitchen.....

6 comments:

Jennifurla said...

This looks so wonderful to eat.

cookcurrynook said...

Yayyyyyyyyyyy! Thank you so much for this recipe. The husband has been asking me to make this ever since he gorged on the cake you brought us. I'm making this today itself :)
I will def share the pics from your visit to my place. Was wonderful having you over :) Hugs!

suma said...

Glad u baked even on ur holiday :)Enjoyed eating this moist cake Nachiketa, thanks so much for getting this for us! And thanks for sharing the recipe!

Nitha said...

Bookmarked...

shruti cyriac said...

can u pls tell me where u get baking soda?? or u just buy cooking soda..?

Nachiketa said...

Shruti,
It's the regular cooking soda used in most indian kitchens.
If i get the best quality dates, then i omit the soda. Just some water breaks down the soft dates into a sauce.