A year ago, on December 12th to be precise, after a lot of hurdles, divinetaste finally went online. I was in the advanced stages of pregnancy at that time. If I was able to keep this site moving through the birth of our baby and tending to a newborn, it was because of the huge support and encouragement that I received from my mother. Be it her excitement for me to take pictures of the Brahma kamala (a wonderfully aromatic flower which blooms only once a year) or when she came across any interesting food item, it was her constant enthusiasm and cheer that kept me going.
My mother belongs to that category of people who has a sweet countenance perpetually. She was there for me 24/7 with my newborn baby. Her personality never ceases to amaze me and I have come to appreciate her more after having become a mother myself. She manages all the aspects of her life, her part in the family business, philanthropic activities through religious and social institutions, of managing a beautiful home and garden with a passion for potted plants, that of a loving wife who has supported her husband through the trials and tribulations of life, an amazing mother to her three children and my favourite role which in my opinion she plays the best, that of a grandmother to my son. I have never seen her so happy as she was when she first set her eyes on my son, elated at being a grandmother and I have never seen her love anyone so much!
As this year comes to a close, I feel grateful for all the wonderful things in my life, the highlight being my son born on the 10th of March this year. A wonderful father and two amazing siblings make up my family in my parental home. Post the birth of my son, I spent many cosy months nestled in the comforts of my parents home. Although I miss being there, it also feels great being back home and for the three of us to be together as a family. And to have access to all my things, books, kitchen essentials et al!
Now coming to the subject of this post, the date and cashew olive oil cake, I made this cake for my father's birthday taking into consideration his liking for olive oil. This is a wonderfully moist cake with deep flavours. The crunchiness provided by the cashews is perfectly balanced by the softness of the dates in this cake. The topping is quick to assemble and adds taste to the cake.
I also have something else to tell you. The divinetaste kitchen is moving! To a much bigger if not better kitchen. I can't tell you how much I look forward to working from my new kitchen. My private study, which will house my innumerable cookbook collection and a studio, are an added attraction. Thank you dearest Ro for making this possible.
Date and Cashew Olive Oil Cake Recipe
Replace the plain flour with whole wheat flour for a healthier version.
280 gm (2 cups) plain flour
280 gm (1 ½ cup) jaggery or dark muscovado sugar*
150 gm (3/4 cup) seedless dates, chopped
100 gm (1/2 cup) cashew nuts
125ml (1/2 cup) plain yogurt
125 ml (1/2 cup) olive oil
250 ml water
2 tbsp date syrup or molasses
2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 vanilla bean finely chopped or 1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp butter
6 tbsp jaggery or muscovado sugar
2 tbsp date syrup
Grease and line the bottom of an 9" round cake tin with greaseproof paper/baking parchment/butter paper. In a mixing bowl, assemble the flour, baking powder and baking soda, mix with a spoon and sieve once to make the mixture uniform.
In a mixing bowl add the yogurt, oil, jaggery or muscovado sugar, date syrup and water and beat with a wire whisk or a spoon. Mix in the sifted flour mixture and beat with a spoon or a wire whisk until there are no lumps.Stir in the dates, cashews, cinnamon powder and vanilla bean and mix well.
Transfer the contents to the greased and lined tin and bake in a preheated oven at 150 degree centigrade for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean.
For the topping:
In a small saucepan, mix the jaggery and butter and cook on a low flame until the jaggery melts completely.When the cake cools, pour the topping over the cake.
* It is better to measure jaggery by weight as the powder measurements are different each time
Makes one 9" round cake
Recipe updated on 15.04.2015