Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dating Myself

I had a wicked sweet tooth attack today - normally I do like my sweets, but I've begun to embrace the "fresher" side of the taste, moving towards fruit as a snack instead of something chocolate. I know, it's sacrilege - but I didn't say I leaving forever. Noo, no... we're just "taking a break". And it's not you, chocolate, it's me. Really.

However, I came across a recipe that tests that "on a break" rule a little, maybe bending it a little far! After making it, though, who cares - it's got fruit in it too after all! I'm talking about a "snacking cake" that I found on Ricki's site, Diet, Dessert and Dogs, called Mrs. K’s Date Cake. And seriously, looking at the post, how could you not be tempted to indulge? The dates promise a healthy sweet note that isn't cloying like honey can be sometimes, and with just a smidge of cocoa and (whole grain flour too!) the entire recipe would make itself right at home in a health food store. In fact, after I drooled for a while over the date cake and got all teary-eyed reading her story behind the recipe, I continued to peruse her site some more, finding some other recipes I had long since saved to make as well as a couple new gems. What I love about Ricki's food is that it's all insanely good-for-you without tasting like it. I mean really - Milky Way Bars? Chocolatey and fruity pancakes? Even - gasp - chocolate truffles? Yup. I don't know how she does it, but that girl is one wizard in the kitchen! She lives near me too, and has her own baking company, and went to the nutrition school I'm looking at attending after college!

So looking back at the recipe I picked out of the fray, could I have possibly come up with a cheesier title for this post? (Answer: probably, don't tempt fate!) Either way, this is definitely a cake you can fall in love with without the "morning after" guilt factor. I did (shamefully!) make a fair number of substitutions to the original recipe to use up what I had and to cut back on the fat a touch, but my results were so awesome that I can only imagine what the real recipe would be like! This is a rich cake at the same time as being something you can "grab and go"... it's a refreshing sort of sweetness that's tempered by the coconut and the bitter cocoa. If I was a kid that got a square of this delicacy wrapped up in my lunchbox, I'd be one happy camper! Ricki says that the cake will keep up to 4 days on the counter if wrapped, but I took advantage of the "freezes well" line and popped the pieces into our icebox for later giving / indulging.

Chocolatey Date And Coconut Cake
12 Servings
2.5 oz chopped dried dates
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup boiling water
4 oz (113g) lite silken tofu (Mori-Nu)
2 tbsp unsweetened pureed pumpkin
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 1/2 tbsp sunflower or canola oil
1 tbsp vanilla
6 oz spelt flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup chocolate chips, preferably dark
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease an 8" square pan (I lined mine with foil too, since I'd be removing the cake).
  2. Combine the dates and sugars in a bowl.
  3. Add the boiling water and stir. Let stand 20 minutes.
  4. Puree the tofu, pumpkin, almond milk, oil and vanilla in a food processor until smooth. Add to the cooling date mixture and set aside.
  5. In a large bowl whisk the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  6. Pour the tofu / date mixture over the dry ingredients and stir to just blend.
  7. For topping:
    Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the surface of the batter. Cover with a sprinkling of the coconut then the chocolate chips.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Chill completely before cutting or freezing.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 219.3
Total Fat: 6.3 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 17.8 mg
Total Carbs: 29.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.4 g
Protein: 1.3 g


  1. I'm so glad you liked it! And the addition of pumpkin must have made it even moister and much yummier. I think you'll like the hummus, too--sorta sweet, without ANY fruit OR sugar (yay!).

    Thanks for all the kind words about the desserts (which I am missing terribly while I'm on this cursed cleanse!). But maybe once the cleanse is over, I'll date myself, too (no, not cheesy at all!!). ;)

    PS You MUST go to CSNN if you're thinking about it! Seriously, one of the best years of my life. If you want to talk about it, email me!

  2. have i missed this cake on DD&Ds? looks awesome. boy do i have some baking to do!

  3. if dating myself is what it takes to get this cake, i might reconsider the boyfriend situation... okay, probably not, but i still am oohing and aahing over it!



  4. It might be a cheesy title but it works for a great looking dish.


Thanks for the feedback!