Then a couple of months ago, I came across an incredible recipe for date brownies from Simply Sugar and Gluten Free. This got me thinking: if brownies sweetened with dates taste this good, why not make a cake that's sweetened with dates? However, I had a hard time finding a good recipe for such a cake. So I decided to do something bold and daring: I ventured into the kitchen without a recipe. (Yes, that's just the kind of crazy and spontaneous person that I am.)
I started by throwing some dry ingredients into a bowl, and then I stirred in some date paste. The mixture seemed a bit too dry, so I added some milk until it resembled cake batter. Then I threw in some Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips. Honestly, I don't think it's possible for a recipe to turn out badly if it contains dark chocolate. Finally, I poured the batter into some ramekins, shoved them into the oven, and hoped for the best.
Twenty-five minutes later, with a bit of trepidation, I pulled my creation out of the oven. They looked pretty good, but how would they taste? In a word, terrific! The dates gave the cake a wonderfully sweet taste and moist texture. And the chocolate chips certainly didn't hurt either. (This isn't to say that my recipes are always successful on the first try. In an upcoming post, I'll tell you about my trials and tribulations in trying to create the perfect cheesecake recipe.)
I like to make this recipe using a combination of spelt flour and garfava flour. Both flours have a pleasant, nutty taste that complements the peanut butter flavor in this recipe very nicely. Sorghum flour also works very nicely for a gluten-free version. However, the recipe is pretty flexible, so feel free to substitute whatever variety of flour you have on hand. The recipe makes two mini-cakes, which is perfect if -- like me -- you live in a small household. However, you can easily double (or triple or quadruple) the recipe if you're baking for a larger crowd.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cakes
Makes 2 servings
¼ cup flour (I like to use spelt, garfava, and/or sorghum)
2 Tbsp. PB2 peanut butter powder (available in the health food section at most grocery stores, or here)
½ tsp. baking powder
⅓ cup date paste* (see below for instructions)
⅓ cup milk (I like to use almond milk, but regular milk works fine, too)
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 ramekins with cooking spray. Combine dry ingredients. Stir in wet ingredients and chocolate chips. Pour batter into ramekins. Bake for 25 minutes or until the cakes start to pull away from the edges of the ramekins.
* To make date paste: Soak 8 ounces of pitted dates (approximately 1½ cups) in 1 cup hot water. Puree in a food processor until smooth. This will make approximately 1½ cups of date paste. Save the remaining date paste for another use. Date paste will keep for a week or more if stored in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.
This recipe is posted on Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and Whole Food Wednesday