Sunday, October 2, 2011

Spring Sunday and Date Almond Cake

Spring weather in Brisbane fluctuates between damp overcast days where you are certain winter has not yet abandoned her grip on the city, and days of bright blue unclouded skies where the very wind seems to whisper of the promises of summer. Today was of the latter variety, a day bathed in sunshine and cooled by dry cool breezes that have blown through the newly opened spring flowers.
Something inside of me needed to celebrate the coming of the warmer months and so I headed out for a run through my neighbourhood; passing gardens bursting into bloom under the newly strengthened sun, and soaking up the feeling of just being out in the world on such a beautiful day.

Of course no normal Sunday would be complete without a decent amount of time in the kitchen, and so the Date and Almond Cake was born. I had been reading 'French Kitchen' by Serge Dansereau this morning and was captured by the thought of his almond bread. However, I needed to put a chickpea twist on the recipe and so flours were changed, dates were soaked in tea and added to the batter and even the sugar took on a different guise.

Date and Almond Cake
Adapted from 'French Kitchen' by Serge Dansereau

225g butter, softened
150g raw caster sugar
3 eggs
150g white self raising flour
125g wholemeal self raising flour
75g almond meal
Zest of half a lemon
125mL milk
3/4 cup of dates
3/4 cup boiling water
1 English breakfast teabag


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and butter and line an 8 inch spring form pan
  2. Place dates in small bowl with the teabag and pour boiling water on top. Allow to sit for 15 minutes before draining and roughly chopping. Set aside for later use.
  3. In a medium bowl combine flours and almond meal with a whisk ensuring there are no lumps.
  4. In the large bowl of a stand mixer cream together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  5. Reduce to low speed and add eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions.
  6. Add flour and almond meal mixture and combine.
  7. Beat in lemon zest, followed by milk and mix well.
  8. Add chopped dates to the dough and mix through by hand using a long handled scraper.
  9. Pour batter into the pan and bake for 45-50 minutes. If it starts to brown too quickly cover with tin foil.
  10. Remove cake from oven when a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, allow to cool completely in pan before releasing.

This cake is destined for the office tomorrow where its damp almond smell and moist crumb will be well appreciated on a Monday morning when all you want to do is be outside in the spring sunshine.

1 comment:

  1. ummmm yes. i would have so appreciated that cake this morning ;) glad you were able to celebrate warmth with a run :)