I baked a chocolate-date cake for two adorable little girls last week. Charming chocolate and demure dates, energizing and detoxifying at the same time, they just seem to belong together. It was a moist, dense cake and the girls liked its comforting taste.
Chocolate Date Cake
(for 12 generous servings)
2 cups, all purpose flour (unbleached)
1 cup, semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup, fresh dates, pitted and chopped, soaked in a cup of warm milk for 30 minutes
1 cup, pecan pieces (or walnut pieces)
1 1/4 cups, cane sugar
2 eggs or 1 ripe banana, mashed, about a cup
1/2 cup, ghee or peanut oil
1/2 cup, fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon each – baking powder and baking soda
1 teaspoon – vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Generously apply ghee or oil to a cake or bread pan.
2. In a bowl, beat the eggs or ripe banana, sugar, vanilla extract, orange juice and ghee or oil into smooth mixture. Then add and fold in the flour, chocolate chips, dates plus the milk they soaked in, pecans, baking powder and baking soda. Pour the batter into cake pan.
3. Bake 40 to 50 minutes, until the cake is firm and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then invert on to a wire rack or plate to cool completely before serving.
Chocolate-Date Mini Cakes
February Food Fun:
Include Fruits and greens regularly
Make a habit of Kosambari
Sweet pears in season are tossed with fresh lettuce from our backyard garden in this delicious kosambari. For an Indian twist, I have added some dates, chickpeas and chat masala powder. Fruits, greens and some protein, this free-spirited kosambari has all the food fun I wanted in a February. A guilt free meal and God bless simple recipes like Kosambari.
Fruit Kosambari with Pears
1 small bunch of fresh lettuce
1 cup, cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup, dates
1 tablespoon chat masala powder
salt and black pepper to taste
Rinse the lettuce well. Pat them dry with a clean towel. Tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Peel the skin and slice pears into big pieces. Quarter the dates.
In a bowl, take the lettuce. Add pears, dates and chickpeas. Sprinkle chat masala powder, salt and black pepper powder. Toss to coat.
Serve immediately with a cup of rasam or sambar on the side for a light meal.
Fruit Kosambari with Pears and Dates ~ For Meal Today
We made Dates Kheer last weekend following a recipe from Sukham Ayu cookbook. The recipe required few ingredients, was very simple to prepare, and tasted divine. The original recipe in the book called for dates and milk. I also added almonds because I love badam taste in milk.
According to Sukham Ayu, the dates have post-digestive effect. They serve as thirst quenchers, body energizers, and also help increase levels of hemoglobin. Their sweet and moist qualities benefit Vata and Pitta. To balance the heaviness of dates for Kapha, use nutmeg and cardamom as in this recipe.
Here is how I made this delicious Ayurvedic dessert with dates, milk and almonds. I hope you try it too.
Diamond of Dates ~ Medjool Dates for Kheer
(Recipe adapted from Sukham Ayu. Makes about one and half cups of kheer)
8 medjool dates – pitted and chopped finely
8 almonds – powdered to fine
2 cups milk – Whole, Organic variety
1 tablespoon ghee
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Place a thick-bottomed vessel on stovetop and heat. Add ghee to melt. Add chopped dates and almond powder to the melted ghee. Fry for about five minutes on low heat.
Add milk. On medium heat, simmer, stirring in between, until the milk-dates-almond mixture thickens and reduces in volume from 2 cups to about one to one and half cups. Takes about ten minutes of cook time. Stir the cardamom and nutmeg powders. Turn off the heat. Serve into bowls in small quantity and enjoy. Tastes good warm or cold.
Dates I added are extremely sweet so I didn’t have to add sugar to the kheer. Add sugar or jaggery if needed as per your taste.
While the milk heats up you need to keep stirring so that the milk doesn’t stick to the bottom – a stir every two minutes or so is fine.
© Recipe and Photos Copyright 2009 Indira Singari
Dates Kheer ~ for Sri Rama Navami Neivedyam