I don’t know if it’s ‘normal’ to have a baking cupboard – but most of my cupboards currently look like this:
…except this one, which I’ve designated as home for all things cakery:
*HOARDER ALARM SOUNDS IN THE DISTANCE*
So, anyway, I thought it was about time me and L put our heads together and made a cake in our new flat – it rained all morning today, an excellent opportunity to get messy with a bit of flour, no? And before you ask, yes – my daughter is still in her nightie, rockin’ some fluffy bed hair, it’s how we roll.
Date Loaf Cake
375g dates, chopped
2 tsp. instant coffee
1 cup (175g) self raising flour
1/4 cup flaked almonds
I like loaf cakes. You see, I like their simplicity, I like how easy they are to store and I like their fuss-free attitude to life. I also probably just like the fact that they look like loaves, carb fiend here with the blood sugar levels to fucking prove it. We opted to make a simple date loaf because I don’t have any of my cake spices over here yet and I also didn’t have any oats, otherwise we would have gone down the “let’s kid ourselves they’re wholesome” muffins route.
This particular date loaf is exceptionally simple because it only contains four ingredients. Yes, four. There’s more ingredients in my cup of tea than that – especially if you include the midge that just dive bombed it, kamikaze style. Poor midge, it isn’t even caffeinated.
Roughly chop your dates and soak them for a few hours (overnight if you’re more prepared than I am) in your coffee solution – 2tsp instant coffee, 1 cup of boiling water. This will allow them to get all squishy and happy… they don’t take on much of a coffee flavour, I detected only the tiniest hint.
If, like me, you have a small child – get them to add the chopped dates into the prepared coffee and marvel at how. fucking. long. it takes for them to meticulously plop each piece into the bowl from varying heights, meticulously checking and double-checking (OCD alert) that each stoned-piece of shrivelled fruit has landed just where they want it.
Then, just as you’re about to sweep the whole pile of dates into the bowl in a fit of irritation, ignoring any patterns they’ve been painstakingly creating – they give you a side-smile like this and you suddenly re-discover limitless patience. Clever this whole self-preservation thing.
Give it all a bit of a stir and walk. away. Seriously, the longer you leave the fruit to soak, the better the results. Have patience fellow cake-munchers.
Once your dates have been suitably soaked, add 175g of self-raising flour and combine the mixture before pouring into a greased/floured loaf tin. Don’t be stupid and use a 3lb loaf tin like we did when the sum of your ingredients only weighs like, 500g at the most.
Get aforementioned OCD chid to meticulously place flaked almonds (or whole, whatevs) on top and bake in the centre of the
universe oven at 160 degrees celsius for 45 minutes. Considering it has NO fat or sugar in it, you get a surprisingly moist, sweet loaf. Them dates are pretty clever things! I guess you can’t have brains AND beauty huh?
Our slightly-too-flat-because-our-tin-was-too-big date loaf cake. Four ingredients, minimal washing up. Hoorah. Especially nice spread with a little, or you know… shit-loads of butter.
So proud. Her, not me.
Oh ok, me too.