Sunday, June 15, 2014


I'm in the mood for baking. I know, it's hot, but I haven't had sugar in a a few months and I just have this urge to have something sweet. Besides, it was Father's Day and the hubster has a heck of a sweet tooth. This recipe and several others can be found in my Romancing the Chefs Toque series where I've written the recipes in character, so to speak, and made them part of the story. And speaking of which, Amazon surprised me today and listed Dishing Up Romance, the first in a three-part series for only $0.99. I have no idea how long they'll leave it at this price, so if you like a good romance, if you like to cook, if you like to eat, then this book is for you. Hurry before they change their minds. And now I make you two promises: One:this cake is addictive, and two: and you will be a big hit

6 ounces  Madjool dates, pitted
6 ounces brewed coffee
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
6 ounces dark brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

Carmelatta Sauce
3 cups heavy whipping cream
5 ounces butter
5 ounces brown sugar
3 tablespoons Kahlua
PREHEAT the oven to 350 degrees

Soften the dates in the brewed coffee on medium-high heat for approximately 10 minutes.  Drain the liquid and reserve for later.  Puree the dates to a smooth consistency and reserve it for later too.  Is that what you’re doing—reserving yourself for later? But girl, you wait too long and it’s never gonna happen.  Listen to Lucy.  She’s a very knowledgeable woman when it comes to other people’s love life—she’s had lots of practice.

Mix the flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda and powder into a separate bowl while you’re beating the tar out of the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer.  When the volume increases and is a nice tan color, you’ve done it correctly but don’t rush just because everyone else thinks you should be married.  And if you’re really serious about this, then stop lining up to catch the bridal bouquets at all your friends’ weddings.  Besides, how many preserved wedding bouquets can one girl have?

Add the flour mixture.  When it’s blended to your satisfaction, add the eggs one at a time and whip to blend, then the vanilla and lastly, the date puree. 

Prepare a 2-quart rectangular baking dish with cooking spray and scrape the batter into the dish, spreading with a spatula to evenly distribute.  Fill another roasting pan with water and place on the lowest rack in the oven—right under your cake pan. This is to keep the cake moist. Bake on the middle rack in the oven for about 45 minutes – cake should pull away from the sides.  

SERVES 10-12 depending on size.