Scanning through past posts I feel it is time for a sweet treat recipe. I realise I post savoury dishes as there is always some information I want to get to you. Very often with desserts or sweets there really isn't anything I can write about so this week its just a recipe.
Oh except in the recipe you can use coconut sugar or rapadura sugar. Both sugars are apparently healthier than the old sugar cane sugar. Coconut sugar is relatively new on the market in Australia but has been widely used in South East Asia. What makes it different to cane sugar is that it still retains a lot of its nutrients even though it is heated during the process from juice to grains. Rapadura sugar which comes from cane juice is dried out to form crystals so doesn't go through any heating and therefore also retains lots of its nutrients. It is lower in calories than cane sugar. Both sugars are a little less sweet than cane sugar. When using Rapadura sugar you will get a denser cake and the cake wont rise as well as it does with cane sugar but you will enjoy a richer and hopefully healthier cake. Coconut sugar doesn't overpower your cake with a coconut taste as some would think, it is very subtle in flavour.
When making a cake from a regular recipe and when using cane sugar i usually half the amount of sugar. When using rapadura or coconut sugar I do 2/3 the amount the recipe calls for as I don't like an overly sweet cake. So if you usually follow the recipe exactly do the following- if the cake calls for 1 cup of sugar and you like it sweet then add 1 1/4 cups of rapadura or coconut sugar. If you are like me and like a less sweet cake then if the recipe says 1 cup normal sugar then I would use 3/4 cup of rapadura or coconut sugar. Having written all that follow my recipe exactly, don't add more sugar as the dates are very sweet anyway.
250g pitted dates
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon aluminum and gluten free baking powder
3 free range organic eggs
1/2 cup rapadura or coconut sugar
1/4 cup gluten free self raising flour
1 3/4 cups almond meal
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp powdered cardamom
1/4 tsp nutmeg
In a bowl place the pitted dates, boiling water and baking powder and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile line a spring form cake tin or grease a pudding dish. Beat the eggs and sugar together. Fold in the gluten free flour, almond meal, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg. Once the dates have been soaking for at least 20 minutes pour the dates and water into the flour and egg mixture and mix together gently. When all combined transfer to your prepared cake tin or pudding dish and bake in a 180 C oven for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Note: I can't help myself telling you this because I am so proud of the fact that the plate the cake is served on in the photo is part of a set my mum gave to my grandmother and grandfather for their 25th wedding anniversary. The plate is almost sixty years old and I don't think my grandmother used them all that often- but I still feel her spirit every time I serve a piece of cake on one.