Wednesday, 5 December 2012
CAKES & CAKES ONLY -Dates and Carrot Cake
The very hot summer is pretty much over. The long summer days went by,thankfully, and longer winter nights have arrived. The woollen clothes are out of the cupboards and we get to see exclusive jackets and boots everywhere. These three months are definitely a festive season for us. The pleasantly cool weather, moderate temperatures all day long.. I'm loving it! The very thought of grabbing in steaming hot coffee helps me jump out of my bed these days.
National Day Celebrations comes in this season. December 2 and 3 is celebrated as UAE's National Day to commemorate the union of all seven emirates to form United Arab Emirates. I remember it as a festival of lights in UAE before, all buildings were decorated with lights and flags; but now this has turned upto nationwide fest where residents celebrate whole day and night with fireworks, spraying foams and strings , dressing up fancily, decorating the cars etc. Streets, malls and residential areas are decorated with the colours of the UAE flag. Flags fluttered in the breeze all over the nation.
This year celebrations continued for four days as this holiday came alongwith the weekends. The whole nation was eagerly waiting for this special day when we were not so excited. We were missing someone or rather one family who is not with us to join this time. Last year, we had so loads of fun together that this time it was hard for us to think that they were not with us. My cousin, who passed away 3 months back ( whom i mentioned before) and his family were not with us this time.
But, the show must go on .. Another cousin of us landed up here for vacation and we were forced to go to Corniche to show her the fun. We all were busy acquainting her with the parks, malls and other landmarks here.
Apart from holidays, the most exciting aspects of winter is baking delicious goodies for family and friends. Cakes, cookies or desserts, my sweet cravings is not gonna end for the months ahead. So I'm thinking of posting CAKES & CAKES only during this whole month of December. Right from some delicious holiday bundt cakes to easy and yummy birthday cakes, you can expect a lot more..
Starting with my Mom's signature Cake Recipe- it's a Dates & carrot Cake with Nutty goodness and rich in spices. This is the first ever cake baked by me. I just can't live without dates. All my diet plans fail just because of them. Recently I had to stop buying them and substituted figs for dates for health reasons, but still, its not a tedious task for me to get hold of them. Being in middle east, they cant run away from me nor can I.
Dates 1 cup
Carrots grated 2 1/2 cups
Flour 2 cups
Baking soda 2 tsp
Salt a pinch
Sugar 3/4 cup tp 1 cup
Brown sugar 3/4 cup ( can use caramelised sugar instead)
Walnut/cashewnut 1/2 cups
Nutmeg 1/4 tsp
Cinnamon 2 tsp(optional)
Oil 1/2 cup
Vanilla essence 1 tsp
Vanilla essence 1 tsp
Preheat oven at 170 c and grease the cake pan.
Grate carrots and chop dates and nuts. Mix all these in 2 tbsp of flour taken from the measured cups.
Sieve together the remaining flour, baking soda,spices ( nutmeg and cinnamon if using) and salt.
Beat eggs, oil and both sugars until well incorporated for about 2-3 minutes.
Fold in the flours sieved earlier.
Mix the dates,carrot and nuts mixture.
Pour this in the pan and bake for 40-50 minutes or until the skewer comes out neatly when poked. Overbaking makes it dry, so be careful.