Friday, February 11, 2011

Mom's "Love" Cake (aka Date and Nut Cake)

Although we don't believe in Valentine's Day, here in Israel, there is much hype (mostly by retailers) about Chag Ha'Ahava (חג האהבה). When my mother, ob"m, used to make this cake, it became refered to as her "Love" cake. It has such an amazing, complex flavor. When my mom made it, she put her whole heart and soul into it. Without further ado...

Date and Nut Cake
Step 1:
1 pkg (8 oz.) dates, pitted – in Isael, ½ block of dates
1-1/4 c boiling water
Add to dates and let cool
Step 2:
Add the following together:
½ c shortening/margarine (I use oil - see my note about margarine)
1 c sugar (I use 3/4 c sugar, as the dates are also sweet)
2 eggs
1 T cocoa powder (I always add more - can never get enough)
Dash salt
1 t baking soda
1 t vanilla
Step 3:
Add 1-1/4 c + 2T flour
Add flour a little at a time, then liquid from dates
Stir in dates
Can add mini chips to the batter
Pour into greased 9x13 pan
Sprinkle topping: ½ c walnuts, ¼ c sugar, 6 oz choc chips
Bake at 350 F (180 C) for 40 minutes or longer