Among the several delicious cakes that my mother bakes, a special treat is her egg-less date and raisin cake that she makes on special occasions.
Date and Raisin Cake
Time taken: 1 ½ hours + 3 hours (for marinating the dried fruits)
Serves 8 – 10
- Dates – 1½ cup (when chopped) or 300 g (before chopping)
- Raisins – ½ cup (100 g)
- Wheat flour – 2 cups
- Semolina – ½ cup
- Low fat vegetable oil margarine (e.g. Flora) – 1 ½ cup (250 g)
- Brown sugar – 1 cup
- Condensed milk – 1 cup (vegans can use almond cream or cashew nut cream or coconut cream as a substitute)
- Vanilla essence – 2 tsp
- Mixed 3C spice powder (Cardamon, Cloves and Cinnamon) – 1 ½ tsp
- Sri Lankan Tea – 1/3 cup
- Baking powder – 2 tsp
- Baking soda – ¼ tsp + pinch (for marinating the dried fruits)
- De-seed the dates and chop them. Place the chopped dates in a bowl, together with the raisins.
- Add 1/3 cup of strong black tea, pinch of baking soda and the mixed 3C spice powder to the dates and raisins bowl. Cover and keep aside, for 2 – 3 hours, letting the dried fruits marinate in the tea and spice mix.
- Whisk together the margarine and sugar, adding the condensed milk or vegan substitute. If whisking by hand, add the ingredients slowly while continuing to whisk. If using a blender, blend the three together for about 10 minutes.
- Add the vanilla essence to the blend and mix.
- Sift the flour, semolina together with the baking powder and soda.
- Stir in the sifted flour and semolina gradually into the bowl of blended margarine, sugar and milk and mix.
- Add the marinated dried fruits to the batter and fold.
- Transfer the cake batter into a baking tray and bake in a pre-heated oven at 140⁰C/284⁰F for about 1 – 1 ¼ hours.
- Remove from oven and let it cool, before slicing and serving with some hot Sri Lankan tea or coffee.
Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.