Thursday, 26 September 2013

Dried Date Cake; No Bake Treat

Sometimes you taste something and immediately want to know the recipe. That happened a few weeks ago when I was having lunch with a friend at Bagels & Beans; a Dutch franchise formula lunch and coffee room.
A very successful concept where they serve delicious bagels, homemade cakes plus freshly squeezed juices , coffee and loose leaf teas. Most of it organic and fair trade.
(They also have an English menu online and in all their shops)

Anyway, it was not one of their bagels I was so excited about; it was their date cake.
A sweet and sticky cake, with the natural sweetness of the dried dates (plus some extra sugar and caramel syrup ;-))

I was already busy investigating the ingredients while eating it and was really surprised to find the original recipe on the Bagels&Beans website! I wish it was so easy to find these kind of recipes from more restaurants.

I used the original Bagels & Beans recipe with instructions from the Dutch food blog
I halved the quantities and instead of a normal caketray i made it in a well greased small, round quiche tray (20 cm). And served it, cut into small pieces, as friandise with coffee and tea at my dinnerparty. It;s a perfect recipe to make for a lot of people.

Dried date cake cut into pieces in quiche tray before serving

Before serving it at the dinnerparty I tested the cake on my family. Let me tell you; they normally don't eat dried dates. My family is of the kind that likes to eat the familiar cakes and pies over and over again. Like Dutch apple pie or my grandmothers Cheesecake ( in Dutch: Monchoutaart).But even though they looked a bit strange when I presented the pieces of dried date cake; everyone loved it!

My grandmother just couldn 't stop eating. Same as my colleagues from work, who I brought the leftovers. They immediately asked for the recipe. And I was very pleased to hear already two of them made it themselves successfully.

This is definitely one of my new favorite recipes and I'm very happy that Bagels & Beans shared this recipe online.

For the Dutch version of this recipe in PDF click here.

Dried Date Cake

For about 8 'pie' pieces or approximately 30 little pieces


  • 250 grams dried dates, pitted and chopped (weight after pitting)
  • 125 grams of butter + extra for greasing the tray
  • 75 grams dark brown sugar (in Dutch: basterdsuiker)
  • 25 grams chopped walnuts
  • 75 grams Maria biscuits, chopped into small pieces in a mortar
  • ½ egg (M), beaten
  • 1 tablespoon caramel syrup (Monin or ( for Dutch readers) Douwe Egberts)
  • Flaked coconut

Important: make sure to have pitted and chopped the dates before you start; it is a sticky job.

1. Grease a small quiche tray (20 cm) with butter.

2. Melt the 125 grams of butter on the lowest possible heat.  Do not let the butter brown!  When the butter has melted  add the sugar in parts and stir constantly with a small whisk. Make sure it does not stick on the sides. It has to remain a liquid mass. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.

3. Beat the egg with a fork and add it only to the butter-sugar mixture as this is no longer really hot anymore, otherwise the egg solidifies immediately and you get pieces of egg in your cake. Pour it in gently and stir constantly. Put the pan back on the heat and continue to stir until completely incorporated.

4. Add 1 tablespoon caramel syrup while stirring.

5. Add dates, keep stirring and boil for 1 minute.

6. Then add the biscuits and walnuts and remove from heat. Stir until everything is mixed well.

7. Put the mixture into the quiche tray and press it flat with a spoon. The cake should be 1 ½ cm  thick. Make sure everything is evenly distributed.
Let cool about 1 ½ hours in the refrigerator before you cut it in pieces.

8. Sprinkle the cake with coconut flakes before serving.

Easy to make 1 to 2 days in advance; keep in refrigerator.

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