Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Ramadan, Date Harvest and Date Cake

It's Ramadan and summer at the same time. What that means in the produce section of stores is that you will see large crates of dates for sale everywhere.

During Ramadan, able-bodied Muslims fast throughout the day and break their fast at night with a few dates, typically. In addition to this, it's harvest time for dates all over the country. Date palms line the miles of road between Ruwais and Abu Dhabi, are planted throughout the city, in every park and green space. Typically the dates have a mesh bag around them to catch the dates and protect them from birds or other things.
Dates are really filling, have a lot of nutritional benefits, are supposed to help a woman have shorter labor, aid digestive issues and, depending on who you ask, are given as a remedy for just about everything here.

When Ben brought home 2 huge boxes of them I began looking for a way to use them beyond eating fresh since we have so many. This recipe for date cake was one Ben and a teacher he works with liked with had good things to say about. The kids loved it, too. Dates have a caramel-like flavor when ripe that comes through in this cake without the odd resemblance of, well, whatever you think an actual date looks like...

Most of the boxes of dates are fresh, still yellow and smooth, but quickly turn brown after a day or two, but not the brown, dried version you're probably most familiar with. If not used soon, within a week the dates start oozing and have interesting reactions with baking soda.
(Can this fall under home school experiment?)

Date Cake

  • 3cups/500 g dates pitted
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2cup / 100g brown sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 1/10 stick - 125 g Butter
  • 1 1/2 Cups Self raising flour
  • 2 tsp Vanila
  • 1 tsp Bicarb.
  • Preheat the oven 180 or 160 fan forced.
  • Add the dates, Butter, sugar & water.
  • Cook it till it boils
  • Add bicarb and leave it to cool down.
  • Whisk the eggs.
  • Add eggs, self raising flour,vanila and mix well.
  • Add the mixture in to a baking tray and bake 40 min.

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