“If you wait for a cake to be given to you so you will be happy- then you will be happy when someone gives you a cake. But if you buy a cake (or bake one) for yourself so you will be happy, you have found the way of happiness.” ― C. JoyBell C.
This recipe is from Sarah Al Hammad's book ' Cardamom and Lime. Recipes from the Arabian Gulf'. Really not difficult to make and such a good thing to enjoy - soft textured, cardamom and saffron scented & naturally sweetened with juicy dates -- it was blissful! So, 'let us eat a cake'! ;)
pinch SAFFRON STRANDS ❂ 6-8 SOFT DATES, stoned ❂ 5 EGGS ❂ 150g SUGAR
1 heaped tsp GROUND CARDAMOM ❂ pinch TURMERIC ❂ 120 g plain FLOUR
2 tsp BAKING POWDER ❂ 1 tbsp VEGETABLE OIL ❂ BUTTER for greasing
SESAME SEEDS for sprinkling ❂ handful WALNUTS, chopped
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Soak the saffron in 2 tbsp of warm water for about 1 hour, then set aside.
2. Much the dates with a fork then roll small pieces into pea-sized balls. Set them aside. [i tried a faster version of this by just chopping the dates into very small bits]
3. Beat the eggs and sugar together with a mixer for about 10 min., until light and fluffy. Add the cardamom and turmeric.
4. Sift the flour and baking powder [i put a pinch of baking soda] into a bowl and with a wooden spoon, fold 1 tbsp at a time into the eggs. Continue folding as you pour in the saffron water and oil.
5. Grease a cake tin with a butter, dust the bottom and sides with a generous sprinkling of sesame seeds.
6. Pour half the cake mixture into the tin, scatter over the tiny date pieces, then cover with a remaining mixture and a last sprinkling of sesame seeds. Top with chopped walnuts.
7. Bake for 35 min until the cake is golden brown on top (a cocktail stick or a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean).
8. Turn out the freshly baked (or cooled) cake upside down on to a plate.
The recipe in the book suggests serving the cake with a spoonful of creme fraiche or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but we ate it plain, while still hot, with tea, and... yeah, a bliss! :)