Friday, March 14, 2014

Happy no reason at all cake

Cakes are possibly the most popular form of dessert. Or at least in my household. Somebody reading my blog is bound to have that perception. Quite rightly so though I must confess rarely eaten as dessert. I seem to be averaging 2/3 cakes a week. And nobody seems to mind.

But then cakes straddle different kinds of occasions with ease- ceremonial ones like birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, tea times, breakfast times(banana bread and lemon poppy seed cake), snack times at school and then all the in between times- "a little snacky", " could do with something sweet" etc.

My colleague M attended a baking course where she learnt this cake. She was kind enough to share this recipe with me. And I have made it umpteen number of times since then. Both the ingredients(apple and date combine) as well as the crust( cinnamon, sugar and nuts) make this a little different from the regular chocolate/vanilla fare.

Date Apple Cake

Preparation time: 20 minutes, Cooking time: 45 minutes, Serves- 1- 5


Apples- 2 cups(chopped fine)
Dates- 1 cup (again chopped really fine)
Refined flour(Maida)- 1.5 cups
Sugar(Powdered)- 1 cup
Sugar(granular)- 1 tbsp.
Eggs- 2
Vanilla essence- 1.5 tsp
Baking soda- 1 tsp
Baking powder- 1 tsp
Butter- 1 cup
Cinnamon powder- 1/2 tsp( finely ground)
Nutmeg powder(optional)- 1/4th tsp
Sliced almonds- 1/2 tbsps (Sis has sent me some thinly sliced almonds which makes it soo simple)


Once you figure out that baking most cakes just requires you to sieve the dry ingredients together, mix the wet ingredients and then assemble it is really easy and quick. This one has a few additional steps. Do pay close attention to how the cake comes together.  
  1. Sieve together the flour along with the baking powder and soda. Keep aside.
  2. Beat the two eggs with the vanilla essence until light and fluffy, Again keep aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine the powdered sugar and the butter( keep the butter out of the refrigerator for a couple of hours to make this step easier). You will be tempted to taste the butter and sugar combine as you used to as a child( at least I used to and that kinda explains the weight) but don't. Save your calories for the cake- it will be worth it.
  4. Once the butter and sugar have mixed well( should take about 10 minutes or so) start to add the other ingredients. Alternate between the flour and the eggs- a little bit from each type till you are done with the two.
  5. Next add the apples and dates. You could also add 1 tbsp of the sliced almonds or save all of it for the topping. Add the nutmeg if using.
  6. Pour( now this is not really a pouring consistency cake) so just spoon it onto a greased dish. Flatten the top with a spatula.
  7. Then sprinkle some granulated sugar, cinnamon and the sliced almonds over them.
  8. Preheat the oven at 200  degree centigrade for about ten minutes and the bake the cake. Initially with just the lower coil for about 30-40 minutes and then with the upper and lower coils for another 10/15 minutes till the crust starts to look a rich, golden brown.
Take a bite and you can almost feel the burst of flavours in your mouth. The part that I like the most about this cake is the smell of apple and cinnamon combine as the cake is baking. Always puts
 me in a cheery frame of mind. The kitchen just smells divine.
Store ideally in the refrigerator(if you can manage to make it last that long) and warm it for about 30 seconds in the microwave before you serve. It also goes well with fresh cream or ice cream. You can start your day with a slice of this cake and down it with a glass of milk or pack it in your lunchbox and relish it after a light lunch. So go ahead and indulge.

And as I sign off I am reminded of the lines ' cream coloured posies and crisp apple streudles....these are a few of my favourite things'. Baking is definitely one of mine.

Bon Apetit and Happy Baking !

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