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Friday, July 30, 2010

Eggless Dry Fruit cake - Dates and Apricots

I havent been blogging for a while now. This time around in India, I showed off my baking skills to family (nice to be acknowledged for what i know ..right!!) On the menu were carrot cake, ginger snap cookies and mango swirl bread. I am back to Atl and was not sure what to bake to start my regular kitchen schedules. (It is quite tough to get back into a cooking routine after a great vacation). sigh!

I had to use up the apricots and dates in my pantry and ended up baking this yummy Dates and apricot cake. Dates are known to be a great source of fiber, zero calorie snack. I recently came to know that California was the haven for luscious date varieties in the US. (courtesy: travel channel) to try some soon....This Middle-East-Asian wonder fruit is known for its richness and a very fruity flavor.

Did you know that a few dates and a cup of unflavoured milk give you an instant energy boost?..Being rich in iron and potassium,  they are used as a great "Fast breaking" food by people following Ramadan fast (Islamic holy month). Dates contain folate and traces of Vit A, B and are considered great to treat anemia, fatigue and constipation. No wonder they are used to break a whole day of Ramadan/ ramzaan fast by people across the world.

(left: dried apricots; right : dry dates)

just FYI, this is how fresh apricots look
Pic: source wiki

Apricots  are a great source of beta carotene and help in reducing infections and skin issues. They are also a great source of Iron and Potassium. However, the dried versions contain Sulphur di-oxide (preservative) which is known to trigger asthma attacks. (hmm..another reason why we could avoid preserved food..right!!).  It is better to soak preserved /dried apricots in water for fifteen minutes before consumption. Remember to drain the water it was soaked in).

The recipe:

you need: for a loaf

Whole wheat flour - 2 cups
Sugar - (I used white this time) - 1 or 3/4 cup (dates lend a bit of their sweetness to the cake )
Olive oil or butter - 1/2 cup or lesser
Baking soda- 1 tsp
baking powder- 1tsp
(Cardamom) Elaichi powder - 1 tsp
Nutmeg powder - a pinch
Cinnamon powder - a pinch
milk or water -  1 1/2 cup
dry fruits : apricots and dates - Chopped - 1/2 cup

  • mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl - flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon powder, cardamom powder
  • Add the dry fruits and butter / olive oil and knead them in. 
  • keep adding water/milk and mix in well. 
  • grease a bread loaf pan or a 9 x9 pan and pour in the batter
  • bake at 350 F / 180C for 35 minutes or until done (do the fork test)
  • Take it out of the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before popping it out onto to a plate
  • you could drizzle it with a tbsp of milkmaid /condensed milk or dust on a tbsp of powdered sugar and serve!

The cake turned out pretty moist and yummy...!!! Cant wait to finish the loaf

Note: We could use raisins instead of apricots as both lend the same sour and tangy sweet taste to the cake


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