Saturday, November 5, 2011

Vegan Recipe - Dates and Walnut Cake - Low fat yet moist and absolutely delicious :)

I love Plum Cake and so does my mom. When we were reminiscing about our favorite Plum cake from McRennett bakery, amma told me that Dates cake is really easy to make and almost fool-proof!  That was enough motivation to try and bake this :)

Amma : "Its similar to how you make Dates n Nuts Milkshake. Soak them in hot water, then blend with milk in steps until puree consistency. The flour u add will absorb the excess milk, if any."

Me : "How about sugar? We didn't add sugar to the shake, ma"

Amma : "Engineer ponne (translates to 'dear daughter'), add sugar to compensate for the flour added, not equal quantities, a little less would do..."

Me:  "I'll add nuts as such and not grind them...Ok?"

Amma : "Yes, yes...but u can grind raisins along with dates, they will go well together..."

Vegan Dates n Walnut Cake

The health-conscious part in me asked me to bake this with whole wheat flour and some germ. The first time, I added some oil (1/4 cup oil for 1/2 cup flour) and that turned out a bit too oily (see pic).  Everyone liked the taste though, so my judgement of other proportions were correct.  Happy :) Baking without oil at all would put the texture off, I felt.  Applesauce is a great substitute, but I was too lazy (and double-risk-averse!) to make that as well. But where ever I read about good cakes, people advocate that butter and eggs make delicious cakes!

Days passed by and on our table lay this pack of Prune Essence that I bought, quite impulsively, when a Groupon deal was on! I was thinking, I would drink this every night and get flawless skin in weeks, but I was never regular. Then, I googled on ways to use this up and Eureka! Prune essence is a good substitute for Oil :) Yippee!!! I made this cake again, with Prune essence this time and it was a huge success (my hubby approved of it), although it's low-fat!

Ingredients -

  • Dates (deseeded) - 200 grams 

  • Milk - 1/2 cup   
    • Use almond-milk (in sync with almond essence) or soy milk and it's vegan
  • Brown Sugar - 1/2 cup, packed
    •  I think the quantity should be reduced a bit, if using white sugar
  • Cake flour - 1/2  cup 
  • Whole wheat flour -1/2 cup
  • Wheat germ - 1/8th of a cup
    • Why Wheat germ? What's that? Read more here and here
    • Prune Essence- 3 tbsp (Yes, there's no Oil nor Butter added!!!)

    • Walnuts, coarsely chopped - about 12
    • Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
    • Almond essence - 3 drops  (May substitute with Vanilla essence)

      How To -

      • Grind dates in an electric mixer and add milk in steps to get a smooth puree. You could microwave dates first, if you're taking them directly out from the fridge.
      This looks so chocolatey, doesn't it?

      • Sieve the flours and mix baking powder to them in a bowl and then add sugar to them.
      • Gently mix the (dates + milk) puree with the dry ingredients. Do not over-work.  Add almond essence and fold once.
      • Add prune essence in steps and mix. Finally add coarsely chopped walnuts.

      • Line your baking dish (I used my 18 cm square pan) with baking sheet and pour the batter on it.

      • Top with some more nuts :) 
      •  Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 15 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. (Keep an eye on it from the 13th minute onwards...) Let cool for 10 minutes.

      My hubby tasted a slice and said "Dates cake is all fine, tastes good, but how's it a CAKE if there's no real chocolate?"
                        Being an obedient wife that I am, quickly browsed for a decadent choco sauce recipe and there were soo many of them! Luckily I had a small tetra pack of whipped cream and a little bit of chocolate chips in my fridge. So, I melted the chocolate chips in the microwave, whisked it with cream and powdered sugar and 2 drops of vanilla essence. That's my chocolate sauce! :) I poured it on top of the cake and let it sit in the fridge and absorb it well :) Wow! The next morning, it was yum-yum-yummy!!!

      Dates cake with Chocolate sauce

      The missing corner piece was tasted by me and my hubby before adding the chocolate sauce!  :)

      One slice is not enough!
      I am soo happy that this cake has come out well. It's soft and delicious and these walnuts in-between make it perfect, I would say! This recipe is definitely a keeper for me. If you're apprehensive about eggless, butter-less cakes, this one will make you think again. Try it and see for yourself :)

      This is my entry to Bake Fest @ Zesty Palette

      and to Khushi's Bake With Your Heart event


      1. lipsmacking:)
        looks delicious and yummy, div!
        I wud luv to taste it:)

      2. Wow .. love the ingredients used. So moist and yummy. Thx for linking to the event.

        Event: Bake Fest
        Event: Dish it Out - Soy and Tomatoes

      3. Oh man! I'm missing this! Why couldn't you bake this before I left! :(

      4. @Appa: Thank you, I will bake it for you :)
        @ Vardhini, Happy to participate :)
        @ Pri: So what, I'll bake this again for you, when you get back :)

      5. wow!!looks delicious....ah I am your happy follower now...:)

      6. The cake looks moist n yummy...lovely flavors...loved it ..
        Thanks for your sweet words at my space n I glad to be your follower :)
        Hope you will also join me n support me .thank you !!

      7. Love dates and love this healthy perfect recipe.

      8. Hi
        Thanks for visiting my blog and for lovely comments.
        Cake looks sooooooo delicious. I like eggless baking. Love to try this soon.

      9. Lovely delicious recipe..looks yummy yum!!

      10. I love dates,sound delicious healthy cakes.

      11. Thanks, everybody, for the lovely comments! Do try and let me know how you like it :)

      12. So fudgy n yummy ~ love that dark color, very appetyzing it looks!

      13. Hi Dv, 1st time in your blog and the cake was looking very delicious. Looking forward to see more cake recipes dear...

      14. Oh my...your cake looks so yummy! I love how moist it is and of course I love the fact it's low fat :) I reminds me brownies when it comes to color but it's so much healthier :) I wish I could have a piece or two right now :D

      15. Thanks for those lovely words, Catalina! :)

      16. Archana, your wish fulfilled :) I just made Marble cake...Do check out...your words are very encouraging! :)

      17. that is a really dark colored cake...I loved that
        do send your entries for the event
        Bake with your heart
        happy baking

      18. Khushi, done :) I'm sending 2 more...

      19. Like that u used wheat flour instead of all purpose..and the no butter idea..Did it also taste of prune? Looks real moist and brownie-ish.. Great to meet u as well..and new bakers where we can all share our experiences together..

      20. Gayathri, There is absolutely no taste of prune! That's the best thing, isn't it? Glad to have met you :)

      21. After reading this article, I could not stop to myself from making it. So i prepared it. It was too yummy!!!!
        Thanking You!!!!!!
        Such most beautiful Cakes also available on :
        Awesome Birthday Cakes
        Beautiful Anniversary Cakes

      22. After reading this article, I could not stop to myself from making it. So i prepared it. It was too yummy!!!!
        Thanking You!!!!!!
        Such most beautiful Cakes also available on :
        Awesome Birthday Cakes
        Beautiful Anniversary Cakes


      Did you like it? Found something interesting? Do you have a alternate way of doing it? Please leave a line here. Thanks!


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