Baking makes me think of other things…
Let me explain…
Living these days in Lebanon is worrisome. We are in the middle of an unknown era where each hour can change the lives of too many. Having experienced war since my 5th birthday (born and brought up in Beirut), waiting for the next car bomb to explode brings fearsome and very annoying memories to the surface. Mind you, i am lucky in so many ways but today my life is about raising two beautiful children and making the best decisions to ensure that they at least grow up with some sense of security and carefree moments.
So I turn to baking. Because baking is about smells, textures, the anticipation of flavours melting in your mouth, the mixing of ingredients who by magic turn into rewarding comfort food.
So here is what i baked this morning:
185 g dates (without stones) and cut into smaller pieces.
1 tsp baking soda
2,5 dl boiling water
90 g softened butter
115 g brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence (or powder, works fine)
185 g flour
1,5 tsp baking powder.
The making is quite easy and forward.
In a bowl add the dates, the boiling water and the baking soda. Let it rest for 15 minutes while you make the rest of the cake. This will soften the dates and makes it easier to mix with the dry ingredients.
In another bowl, mix with a mixer (or by hand with a wooden spoon, that will make you burn extra calories!) the softened butter with sugar and vanilla. It should become a light brown homogenous dough. Add one egg at a time, and mix well. Then sift half of the flour and add it to the dough, by mixing with a wooden spoon (here i suggest avoiding the electrical mixer, as it will remove the fluffiness of the dough). Add half of the date mixture. mix again. then add the rest of the flour, the baking powder and the date mix.
Give it one last blend by hand(spoon) and pour into a greased cake pan, any form will do. I am using the round one with the whole in the middle. the result is beautiful.
Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 35-40 minutes, in the middle of a pre-heated oven.
When baked let it rest for 10 minutes before you remove it from its form.
Sift white powered sugar sprinkle over the cake!