It’s the first time I try one of Williams Sonoma’s recipes. So I went for a date and walnut loaf. This cake keeps well because of the existence of dates which keep it moist. It’s orinally made using alcohol. But since I don’t touch alcohol, I added orange juice instead.
This cake is also healthy in a way you don’t have to put in a lot of fat, not to mention the goodness from dates and walnut.
The date and walnut loaf from different angles
Serves 10 to 12 prep: 15 min – baking: 50 min
1 cup pitted dates, meaty and sweet preferably
1 cup walnuts, lightly roasted and roughly chopped
1/4 cup of currants, pre-soaked (my addition)
1 ½ tsp baking soda
A pinch of salt
½ cup of boiling water (original recipe calls for ¾)
¼ of orange juice + zest of 1 orange (my addition)
3 tbsp of butter, melted and brought to room temperature
¾ cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ cup flour
1 tsp of vanilla extract
¾ cup of warm water
½ cup of water
1 cup of sugar
¼ cup of orange juice
Preheat oven to 170 C.
Making the cake
Butter a 21 cm by 11 cm loaf pan (the medium-size one).
Soak the chopped dates in the orange juice for about 10 min.
In a large bowl, using a rubber spatula, stir baking soda and salt in boiling water and pour over dates with the orange juice. Add the chopped nuts, the melted butter, the vanilla and orange zest.
Mix eggs with sugar with a fork and add them to the previous mix. Finish with flour.
Bake for about an hour or until cake tester comes out clean. The cake will puff and darken.
The orange syrup
Mix all ingredients and let simmer over medium-hight heat for about 12-13 min. let cool on the side.
You can also make orange syrup ahead of time. It keeps well in the fridge for weeks.
Finishing the cake
Prick the cake with a fine blade (a knife) in many places. Pour over an orange syrup or warm honey. This will add moist to the cake and a bit of shine.
Allow cake to cool.
This date and walnut cake keeps well for at least 3 days.
Note: While this cake is still nice. I’m still looking for THE recipe of a date cake like the one I used to have in Dubai..Unforgettable. It’s true that the 100s of types of dates have something to do with it..