- The addition of orange zest and wholewheat flour gives this loaf a beautiful texture and a deep rich flavour. I use Thoory or Zahidi dates because they are smooth with few fibers and excellent for baking but the more commonly found Medjool is also good.
- Serves 12
- 1 cup brown dates such as Thoory or Zahibi or Medjool, pitted and finely chopped
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/4 cups maida or all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup wholewheat flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- 1 teaspoon orange zest (orange peel only no white pith)
- 1.25 cups chopped skinned and lightly toasted walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and prepare middle rack.
- Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan and sprinkle all sides lightly with maida or all purpose flour. Smack the pan on the counter to remove any excess flour. Reserve pan.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, bring dates and water to a boil.
- Meanwhile cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer or using an electric beater until fluffy.
- Add orange extract, orange zest and nutmeg and beat again until fluffy
- Add the egg and beat until well incorporated.
- Remove dates from heat and stir in baking soda. Let cool for 10 minutes.
- Add both the flour and nuts to the batter and beat until well incorporated.
- Add the dates and soda and whisk again until evenly distributed.
- Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Let cool in pan for 25 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
- Serve at room temperature and keep covered and refrigerated in humid weather.
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