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Scheherazade Date Teacake

Scheherazade Date Teacake

There was, unfortunately, and I say this after many attempts at photographing it, no way to make this cake look delicious. But it was good, and actually just the thing for a quick three o'clock pick me up, served with a cup of tea.

The inspiration date cake recipe below caught my eye because of its simplicity, but I subbed the wheat flour for white, brown butter for vegetable oil and added spices and candied ginger to mine to make a cake fit for the Arabian Nights. Hopefully Scheherazade would approve of this date teacake named after her.

25 dates, pitted and torn in half

1 1/2 cups of milk, scalding hot

1/2 brown butter, cooled

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tsps powdered cardamon

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger (half for garnish)

1/3 cup crushed walnuts (for garnish)

Place the dates in a bowl and cover with the hot milk. Set aside for an hour or so.

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 6" pan if you have one. I didn't, so used a small terrine pan. This is a small cake so use the smallest oven safe dish that you have, and grease it well.

Melt the butter in a small pan over low heat and heat through, moving the butter around in the pan from time to time to keep it from burning, until nutty smelling and a rich golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Place the dates, the milk in which they soaked and the brown butter in a blender and blitz until very smooth.

Measure the dry ingredients into the bowl that previously contained the dates. Pour in the date mixture and mix to combine, making sure that there are no white streaks left in the bowl. It will seem like the amount of spice is too much, but keep in mind that dates have a very strong taste and the flavor of the spices can easily get lost while the cake bakes.

Fold in half of the chopped crystallized ginger.

Pour into your baking dish and use a knife to create a flat surface. Sprinkle the walnut pieces and remaining chopped ginger over the surface of the cake before placing in the oven.

Bake for 50 minutes until a skewer or knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. I would check at 40 minutes as cooking time will depend on your oven and receptacle used for baking.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for ten minutes or so before removing the cake from the pan and allowing to cool to room temperature on a rack before digging in.

Inspiration recipe, here.


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