This tasty and easy to make chocolate cake has some interesting added flavors, other than the dominant chocolate. The dates add a nice deep sweetness and color to the cake itself, while the sesame halva adds a unique nutty flavor to the glaze. For a bit of spicy and aromatic kick, I’ve added a small amount of ground four peppers mix, along with vanilla and cinnamon, and a bit of espresso powder, which added a hint of coffee flavor.
The result is a moist, tasty and interestingly flavored cake. Try it and enjoy.
Happy New Year to all!
* Medjool dates are fairly large, plump and soft dates. They are sweeter than most dates and are the best for baking. For best results, don’t substitute them with any other type of dates.
* Espresso powder is an intense, highly concentrated granulated coffee. If you can’t find it, double the amount with regular granulated coffee.
* Sesame Halva is made from sesame paste, mixed with sugar and natural stabilizers. It is available in ethnic stores, most supermarkets, or online.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 40 minutes
Cooking time for the glaze: 10 minutes
1 cup pitted Medjool dates
½ cup boiling water
1 tsp espresso powder
¼ cup cocoa powder
3 oz (85 grams) semi-sweet dark chocolate, chopped
3 L eggs
½ cup oil
½ cup sour cream
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp 4 pepper mix
2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
For the glaze:
4 oz (115 grams) sesame Halva (see notes), crumbled
6 Tbs milk, at room temperature
1 Tbs date syrup (or honey)
2 Tbs cocoa powder
½ tsp espresso powder
2 Tbs sugar
1½ oz (40 grams) dark chocolate, chopped
½ stick (55 grams) butter, soft
½ cup slivered almonds
1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Brush a 12 cup Bundt pan with soft butter, and dust with a bit of cocoa powder. Turn the cake upside down and tap on in, to get rid of access powder. Place in the fridge until using.
2. Mix the dates and boiling water in a bowl. Let sit for 3-4 minutes, to soften the dates. Transfer to a food processor bowl, fitted with the metal blade. Add the chocolate, espresso powder and cocoa powder. Process until smooth.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, sour cream, white and brown sugar. Add the date-chocolate mixture, vanilla, cinnamon and 4 pepper mix. Whisk and add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk well and pour the batter into the prepared pan.
3. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out almost dry. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, before carefully releasing it onto a rack, to cool completely.
4. The glaze: mix the Halva, milk, date syrup, cocoa powder, espresso powder and sugar in a small pot. Bring to the boil, whisking constantly, over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the chocolate. Whisk until the chocolate melts. Add the butter and mix well. Take off the heat and let stand for 10 minutes, mixing occasionally, until the glaze cools down and thickens a bit. Use a spatula to spread it all over the cake. Scatter the slivered almonds on top. Let set before slicing.