April 22, 2011

Apple date cake


It's Good Friday and the beginning of a long Easter weekend. I have to admit I am not very organised when it comes to celebrating Easter - I don't normally cook or bake special Easter treats, I don't decorate my house with colourful eggs or chocolate bunnies. There is no special reason to this, but I think it is because Easter somehow surprises me every year. Before you realise it's Easter and before you get everything organised, Easter is over. Maybe I should just get more organised next year.

We are heading out of town today to have a bit of a change of scenery and enjoy the Australian countryside. I always find it refreshing and I realise I am a country girl at heart, not so much of a big city dweller. I love the open space around me, the clean air and the rolling hills. There is just a different atmosphere compared to the hustle and bustle of a big city.


This apple date cake, however, is a little treat for our long weekend. It is perfectly moist and sweet and also gluten-free, egg-free and dairy-free. I adore Medjool dates and they bring a gorgeous sweetness to cakes, sweet muffins and other treats. I've adapted this recipe from one of Terry Walters' recipes. The original recipe is for banana and date cake, but since banana prices in Sydney are still outrageously high (after the last cyclone destroyed the crops), I have opted for using apples instead. This recipe also calls for chickpea flour, but once again, I could not detect the flavour in the cake, so don't be afraid to use it! :-)

Apple and date cake
(Recipe adapted from Terry Walters' Clean Start)

10 Medjool dates, pitted
2 apples, finely grated
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chickpea flour*
1 cup almond meal
1/4 cup potato starch
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt (I use pink Himalayan)

* Besan/chickpea flour in Australia has a mild nutty flavour. If the besan flour you are using has a strong savoury taste, please substitute with another gluten-free flour.

1. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a medium sized loaf tin.

2. Place the dates in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to soften for a few minutes.

3. In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together.

4. Drain the dates and add in the grated apples. Mash to create a chunky mixture. Add the maple syrup, olive oil, lemon juice and vanilla in the mixture and stir well to combine.

5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold gently to combine.

6. Scoop the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack before serving.


45 comments:

  1. Oh this looks just so delicious. And I love the color! Almost like a pumpkin bread.

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  2. Chickpea flour- interesting ingredient:)
    I like dates, cake must be so delicious!

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  3. oh wow, this cake looks PERFECT!

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  4. I always enjoy coming over here for a visit. I love your simple, yet elegant food styling. So welcoming...

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  5. Your apple date cake looks delicious. This would be perfect with my morning cup of coffee. Delicious.

    Velva

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  6. This looks absolutely amazing! I adore both dates and apples, I hope I get to make this soon.

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  7. chick pea flour is an interesting ingredients for a cake. I always find chick pea flour very rough and i usually use it as a binder. Will try this sometime. :) Your pics are SO SO SO gorgeous and the tea pot is super classy !

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  8. I never really celebrated Easter either, but since I've got a blog I have started to cook some more Easter-related dishes or dessert, just for the fun of it ;). I have never heard of chickpea flour, it sounds very intriguing...!

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  9. The only way I can enjoy dates is when they're in a delicious cake like this, rather than on their own. Enjoy your long weekend!

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  10. like you, I am a country girl at heart...

    That is a delicious looking and sounding cake. Yummy!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  11. Looks delicious! Have a great trip!

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  12. Your ingredients really interest me. Chickpea flour and potato flakes are 2 items that I haven't heard of. I have been wondering how people who are on gluten free plans substitute their ingredients. Have a great weekend away!

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  13. Love this! Looks delicious, and gluten free and no refined sweeteners - wow!

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  14. Maria you really go all out with your food styling. I am SO impressed. It is always so gorgeous, not to mention your perfect recipes. It is always a joy visiting you here!

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  15. What a gorgeous guilt-free cake! Adoring that last picture in particular.

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  16. Ihanalta kuulostava kakku,Maria:) Minäkin rakastan Medjoul-taateleita,täällä niitä kasvaa paljon:)
    lloista pääsiäisen aikaa!

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  17. I like both apples and dates.Love this tea cake.yum!

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  18. I don't celebrate Easter but I think getting out to enjoy nature and scenery is one good way to spend this day. :)

    Pack your apple date cake when you head out!

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  19. Chickpea flour?? Very interesting recipe! Happy Easter!

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  20. Nommers!!! I truly can devour dates by the handful, I don't have them often, like the rustic paper bag wrapped cake prop!

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  21. Have a fabulous weekend! :) I'm not Easter organized either and am just headed to my parents' house for a family dinner.

    This cake looks awesome! :)

    Sues

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  22. Maria, this is just what I needed: I have been cutting down on my gluten and dairy intake and it seems it's doing me good. Loving this cake just by the ingredients list and your photos are mouthwatering as always. Thanks and have a great Easter!

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  23. Your apple cake looks great and I love it all wrapped up in paper :) hope you have a fabulous Easter weekend, enjoy the gorgeous australian country-side xx

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  24. Love this cake! I don't often think of apples and dates with loaves and cakes, but this works brilliantly. Beautiful pictures as always.

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  25. Beautiful cake, I just love dates!
    Hope you have a fabulous Easter weekend.
    *kisses* HH

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  26. This looks so great with the dates in it! It looks like a perfect treat for a visit to the country. Happy Easter!

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  27. When I saw the title of this new post on Twitter, I knew I had to check this out. Love the combination of apple and date... now you've inspired me to work this into a good old pound cake!

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  28. This looks delicious! I will definitely be making this soon. I love dates and apples!

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  29. I have done NOTHING for easter. I felt guilty about it, but not anymore after reading this post! I do however have some dates that I need to use up...I shall bake this cake and call it an Easter treat! Looks delicious!

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  30. Dear Family,
    I'm sorry to tell you that I shan't be attending Easter Lunch at that restaurant outside Canberra tomorrow. I'm staying in to bake and eat and entire apple date cake to myself, courtesy of a certain fabulous blog.
    Love,
    Hannah

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  31. The cake sounds delicious and looks amazing. I hope you enjoy your weekend escape. It is nice to have a change of pace and wake up in different surrounds. Blessings...Mary

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  32. I came across your blog the other day looking for gluten/dairy free recipes. Your food looks so delicious, healthy and uncompliated. I made this apple and date cake yesterday - WOW it is a stunner. So easy to make and it is quite simply delicious. Can't wait to try the pumpkin chai...

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  33. Just one more thing - it would be great if you had a print recipe feature. I'm old fashioned and love to put a hard copy in my recipe folder in the kitchen. Thanks!

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  34. Oooh, This apple date cake sounds absolutely delicious, Maria. The perfect cake to serve with a cup of tea :)And like you, I am a country girl at heart.

    Happy Easter,

    Aldy.

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  35. Apple and dates, sounds an interesting combo. I can't believe the recipe is egg-free.

    Happy Easter, Maria!

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  36. Apples and dates sounds like such a nice combination. I love dates but i've never tried Medjool dates, i'll have to look for them next time! Love the brown paper packaging, great styling as always Maria!

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  37. I'm a country girl too, I can live in the city but I don't love it...I always like your cakes, they are so different from the classic cake recipe...

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  38. What an absolutely dreamy post. I love the photos and the cake looks so good. Plus, I'm always happy when I see a recipe with dates. Such a wonderful ingredient to add moisture to baked goods, particularly gluten-free ones!

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  39. Have been following your blog for quite some time now- just want to commend you on your photography! Love it

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  40. you are always able to create delicious and healty desserts, and this is a great gift that I really admire and try to learn from. I really think a light and good sweet can make you feel so much better. No need for 2 sticks of butter! I am bookmarking this recipe for when I will have some time to make it --and I will, promise!

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  41. Where do you get your interesting ingredients from? I've been on the lookout for economical ways to purchase them. Seems like only the health food shops sell spelt flour, quinoa flour, barley flour and the likes at small amounts and high prices!

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  42. Thank you all!

    Melissa, I shop at organic and health food stores. Here in Sydney some big supermarkets (like Woolworths and Coles) also stock some of these ingredients (like spelt flour, quinoa, etc). If you want to buy in bulk you might want to try ordering the ingredients online.

    Maria
    x

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  43. mmm...I must've missed this post when we were moving and renovating - I love the combo. This is a possibility for my birthday morning tea next week, I can smell it already!

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  44. This looks absolutely gorgeous, just what i feel like baking.

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