…baking!

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.

I digress.

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.


18 Responses to “I only have two full cupboards in my flat… one is for beauty, the other is for…”

  1. Lizz says:

    I organise everything in my kitchen, tins all in order, baking stuff arranged tidy. It has to be done!
    Totally a kitchen stuff/food hoarder.

    Your lil is super cute! love how pleased with herself she looks!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Lossa says:

    OMG Leila is wearing a MLP shirt!!! Me Want (both her and the shirt).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Natalie says:

    I have a baking cupboard too!! Although in our new flat it shares the space with pasta and rice as it is a MASSIVE cupboard, there is a definite space for baking stuff.

    The cake sounds great too :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Vicki says:

    Nom nom nom……

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. AAAW this post made me want my babies back *wails inconsolably* and want cake *add juddering, hiccuping sobs to the mix* but babies back more than cake – I was OK til that last photo, my baby chicken used to look just like that. Oh holy crap now I am crying, literally real live tears. Fucking hormones. *takes self off to administer a slap* xxx

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  6. Leah says:

    Now that’s baking I can get behind….or on my behind, as is more likely the case. Nigella Lawson and all these other people who scour ingredients from that one village in Nepal in spring but only when the wind blows east intimidate me. I could make that cake, and then feel all proud of myself. Thank you!

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  7. NeenaJ says:

    Amazingly simple – it’s definitely a must try for me. My son, who’s a bit younger than lovely Leila, enjoys the placement process also. So, this would be a nice project. Thanks for sharing!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. ModestyBrown says:

    You know, reading this post made my evening! I have the least patience when it comes to attempting to bake with children but you’re right, the smallest things can make you realise that it’s worth the effort. The wine helps too ;)
    xx

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    • They bombard us with so many requests that it makes it too easy to say “no” to 99% of them. Leila’s been a bit attention-starved the last month while we’ve been moving so I’m making a super effort to just. say. yes. (to drugs also). xx

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  9. I can’t understand how this cake works. I’ve been staring at it a long time and I don’t understand. It looks very lovely though, I do like almonds and cakes that go nicely through letterboxes. I like the little lady’s choice of tee too – I think that pony is Rainbow Dash, is it not? And they don’t get any faster, these kiddies, mine just went six recently and today it took us THREE HOURS to go to the library. Three. This is because the library has cushions, and obviously these need piling into a huge tower and then to be sat on. A surprisingly long-winded task. But we got there in the end.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Well, it doesn’t rise a lot – hence the need for a pan that will actually mould it into the final shape, not pancake-shaped being the key here ;)

      Nice to hear that it gets easier with time. Er.

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  10. Wordbird says:

    Squeeeee! Your girl is soooooo cute!
    And yes, I have a baking cupboard too. Or to be precise, a baking tins cupboard, a baking ingredient cupboard and a large tub of baking decorating things.
    Obsessed? Moi?
    :-D

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. I just love Leila’s wee smile in the first pic of her <3 very impressed by a.your patience & b.the cake. I need to just say yes more often. *feels terribly guilty*

    Nic x

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  12. liloo says:

    this is such a cute post :) finally i can see her little hands messing around with baking ingredients :)
    liloo/@tsunimee xx

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  13. Syen says:

    Awww… Leila’s so cute! Love this post. Have fun filling up all the cupboards! =D

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  14. Kelly says:

    I have a cupboard with baking food in, another cupboard with the tins etc and as final cupboard for my mixers, food processor etc and I have 2 drawers dedicateds to rolling pins, cookie cutters, foil, icing bags and the like

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  15. Rachel says:

    I love simple recipes and had to give this a try. I doubted it would be sweet enough for my very sweet tooth but it is perfect. My only problem is that there is a fine line between squigy & uncooked and mine definitly was the later, I could only eat the ends! Will add more flour and cook a little longer next time, but thanks for sharing.

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