Recipe for a Date Cake (lactose free)

In Beth Haemek, Israel, I saw the big bunches of ripe dates hanging in the Date Palm trees. Walking between the overripe fruits fallen on the ground, made my mouth water. There I learned that you can even save ripe dates in the freezer. When the Bible writes about honey, it is possibly sirup or juice from squeezed dates.

In the Middle-East dates are used as ingredients for dairy as well as meat dishes. They are rich in fibers, potassium, iron, copper and magnesium. In this recipe I combined them with mint tea. Tea from lime blossom is another good combination. The cake is parve because there is no milk or meat product in this version. This recipe is based on a recipe in the Dutch cookbook “De gezonde Joodse keuken” (the healthy Jewish kitchen) written by Michael van Straten.

Ingredients (serves about 10 or more):
You need a cakepan of 1.5 liters volume and baking paper.
4 teabags mint tea (1 serve per bag) and boiled water.
250 grams – 2 cups of whole flour
8 gram – 1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 beaten egg
150 to 175 grams – ¾ cup of brown sugar
450 gram – 2.5 cups of dried dates, pitted and chopped. I like to use the big Medjoul dates from Israel.

To make the dough:
Put the 4 tea bags in 300 ml (about 1 1/3 cup) hot boiled water. Let cool down. Squeeze the tea water out of the bags. Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar and beaten egg together with the tea. At the end add the chopped dates to the mixture. Mix well. Let this soft dough stand for at least 6 hours or even a whole night. Covered with kitchen foil. Not in the fridge!

Preheat the oven to 180° C – 350° F
Grease a 4 x 12-inch cake pan. Line the base and sides with baking paper. Grease again. Pour the mixture into the pan. Put on a wire rack on the lowest level of the oven and bake for 70 to 80 minutes. Check if a cocktail stick comes dry out of the cake. Let cool down on a wire rack.

Variation: Instead of dates different dried fruits can be used in combination with Earl Grey tea. Cook’s tip: This cake is especially yammie with butter or cream cheese on it.

Enjoy this delicious cake,
Jacoba Spijker-Kort