Muscovado Date Cake With Maple Sugar Buttercream And A Giveaway

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Muscovado Date Cake With Maple Sugar Buttercream

Baking for Bill is easy. It's actually very enjoyable. He likes everything. He is willing to try it all. He is also very much like an 8 year-old when I bake. He comes to the kitchen five times for the same imaginary glass of water. Goes back to his study with a banana. Comes back to the kitchen to dispose of the banana peel. Sixth imaginary glass of water. You get the idea. I love it. I also love that when I stacked the last layer of this cake, the first words that came out of his mouth were "Oh wow! That cake is huge! Yeah!!" Yes, The New England Cake, is indeed humongous and delicious.

I would not make a cake of this stature on the spur of the moment, just for us and two cups of tea. This is a Reunion Cake, a Birthday Dinner With Friends Cake, a Celebration Cake, a Date Cake! No really, I mean it. It is literally a lovely brown sugar cake filled with dates and iced with maple sugar buttercream. Trust me, you could make this for a first date and end up with a second. And a third.

Muscovado Date Cake With Maple Sugar Buttercream

There were a couple of reasons for this cake to start taking over the kitchen countertop. A family reunion and a book club. The reunion was as typical as can be: tiresome, crazy, at times scary but ultimately fun. Basically, no reason to elaborate on that but to focus on the book club instead. The Edible Word started last year under the initiative of Cath from A Blithe Palate and Stephanie from Dispensing Happiness. I had such a good time doing it that I said yes for this year's book, "Confections Of A Closet Master Baker" by Gesine Bullock-Prado, a non fiction memoir. I am just a couple of days behind the deadline but I blame it on this cake. And the reunion.

Confections Of A Closet Master Baker traces Gesine's journey as a Hollywood executive who finds her true calling in baking and decides to pursue her passion by moving to Vermont and opening a bakery in the small town of Montpelier. I devoured the book, all pun intended. So many emotions, "coups de coeur" and fun truths. Her passion is the air she breathed. You can bet I found myself in many of Gesine's mornings, getting to the bakery at the crack of dawn, leaving after everybody else and never questioning getting to do it all over again the next day.

Muscovado Date Cake With Maple Sugar Buttercream

I also fell in love with Gesine, her writing style and her voice. Fun, honest, visual. Writing is definitely her other talent. She is a cool chick. Each chapter of the book ends on a sweet note with one of her recipes. I had plenty to choose from: Carrot Cake, Plum Tart, Espresso Cheesecake, cream scones, and the list goes on. I went with The New England purely out of necessity. I was given very short notice to bring another dessert and not much time to shop so I did have to match my pantry to one of the recipes in the book.

I did make a couple of changes to her original recipe. The cake calls for brown sugar and I substituted half the amount with muscovado sugar which gave it an even deeper brown sugar flavor and kept the cake ultra moist, even days later. The frosting is a wonderful maple sugar Swiss meringue that would also go very well with any other darker cakes. I did make the executive decision to leave it un-buttercreamed on the outside. I had this vision of the cake growing and growing the more I was spatulating the inner layers. It was also starting to be pretty hefty and I had to travel with this cake. Honestly, it was quite perfect as it was. Impressive and delicious, filled with dried dates and a soft hint of molasses and maple sugar.


Due to copyright restrictions I am not at liberty to post the recipe (although I have stumbled upon a few close recipes with a quick Google search) but trust me, this cake is worth getting the book alone. Wait! Wait! What I do have is one extra, brand new copy to give away to one lucky reader. If I could I'd add a slice of the New England cake with it but I am afraid it won't work with the post office policies.

To enter the giveaway:
- leave a comment between Thursday September 10th 2009 and Sunday September 13th 2009 (midnight Eastern time)
- One entry per reader.
- no anonymous comment will be taken into consideration. Sign Zorro or X if you must.
- the giveaway is open to all. I'll ship anywhere in the world.
- the winner will be randomly picked by asking Bill to call out a number from all the entries received.

If you happen to know or have a link to a great date cake recipe, feel free to leave it in the comment. I know I am ready to try more!

You can follow Gesine on her blog, Confections Of A (Closet) Master Baker filled with humorous stories, tempting recipes and videos and on Twitter.

458 comments:

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eliza said...

i love this cake, it's exuding such creaminess and tantalizing flavors!

*Ah Bii* said...

This looks so delicious~~~~~

livingabroad said...

am living abroad and very much missing baking, and books in english! confessions sounds delightful!

Ksenia said...

Amazing photos =)
I like the idea of the date filling. I love dates! I think I will bake something like this for my birtday, he he.

seraph11 said...

Your photographs are beautiful. Big wave from Australia via Pioneer Woman!

monicalimpc said...

Oh wow.. your creations never fail to amaze me! I'm so excited to see what's in the book.. (well, any baking book really haha) keep the beautiful photos coming :)

Sanna said...

Greetings from Finland :)
What a lovely cake! And beautiful pictures as always :)

Angelina said...

I simply love your blog and beautiful photos. I can confess to being a closet baker too. Just add Gesine's blog on my blog list to read. Merci beaucoup.

SweetThings said...

Absolutely gorgeous pics and it looks yummy. What perfect layers and just the perfect amount of buttercream.

Jamie said...

Fabulous cake! Everything I have heard about this book makes it sound like a must-have! Wonderful!

Jen said...

yum yum yum yum yum yum yum!!

Kristina said...

Are there REALLY 411 comments here?? My goodness!!! Cake sells!

BadBex said...

Bonjour ~
This lovely cake inspires me, and I think about the basic blonde brownies my mother used to make - without chocolate chips or nuts - really just a butterscotch bar. If I used your muscovado sugar, that might really heighten the flavor...I'm going to look for the sugar in my markets and give it a try. I'm visualzing a weighty brownie, tall and not flat like Blondies usually are!

Bethie said...

Lovely!!

Fuji Mama said...

I would probably end up having to ice the cake purely to make it look presentable. :) What a wonderful sounding book! It has been added to my "must read" list.

Happy Day Octopus said...

Who doesn't LOVE books? Thanks for the give away!

Allie said...

How great to have someone willing and wanting to try everything you make! I'm always getting blamed for trying to make all my friends fat.

margaret said...

merci!

kellypea said...

Hey Helen! Hope you're well! I'm still trying to figure out how I missed Stephanie's event -- what a great idea. And the book? Well you know that it has me written all over it. Found a maybe, sort of, almost possible plan to have my B&B w/o leaving here. Just have to wait a while. *sigh* Gorgeous photos. Breathtaking.

Joyce said...

Sounds heavenly! May I just have a big bowl of the maple buttercream?! Yum....
Have a golden day! xoxo

Patricia said...

C'est magnifique!! Yes this is a New England cake and it looks truly delicious...thank you!!

ikkinlala said...

That looks like an amazing cake!

kayenne said...

and i was just wondering what to do with the large bag of muscovado sugar i have left...

mitos said...

Hi.Wonderful to find a cake using muscovado sugar! Here in the Phils.,muscovado was once considered 3rd class sugar and was mainly used as steps (stacked up in sacks) inside the "haciendero's" warehouse. I love muscovado and have used it mainly for sweetening a cup of coffee. Your date cake is truly a great discovery! I must get a hold of that book for the recipe. Keeping my fingers crossed for availability here.

mitos said...

I've been making a moist walnut date bar called "food for the gods" for the last 30 years as my signature christmas gift to family and friends. I have never tried muscovado for baking and now must try it! My "abolita's" recipe is simple. 1 c melted butter,1 c brown sugar,1 c flour,1 tsp baking powder,1 c chopped dates, 1 c walnuts. 275 F for 45 mins. low slow fire keeps it moist. Enjoy!

Kate said...

Your cake is beautiful! Thanks for hosting the giveaway. Crossing my fingers!

angesinclair said...

Well you just made that book sound so wonderful, now I'm dying to read it whether I win it or not!

Helene said...

What a gorgeous cake. I love any cakes with dates. You described the book so well that I would love to read it. Sounds like the author is so passionate.

The way you described Bill is the same as with my husband, he comes in the kitchen for nothing when I bake. I laughed reading this.

Jenny said...

That looks so delicious! Thanks for the chance to win the book!

Carol said...

I've never had a date cake, but I'd love to try it. The maple sugar Swiss meringue might be nice on my spice cake.

Ellen said...

The cake looks amazing. I'm fairly new to your blog, but your pictures are beautiful as well.

Engineer Baker said...

Wow - I keep hearing about this book, and it sounds better and better! This cake looks and sounds absolutely lovely, although I have no occasions to make it for in the near future :)

cocoamango said...

Mmmmm, I would love to make this cake! I've been reading your blog for a while and I admire every little glimpse into your kitchen/life! :)

Natalia said...

This cake looks delicious, and I bet it would go beautifully with a nice cup of coffee.

Maya @ Maya's Kitchen said...

The cake looks divine. I would love a copy of this book!

Zoe said...

Oh wow. That's an amazing cake, and hope I win the book so I can use it!

Nada said...

mmmmm..tasty and beautifull...as always..

missrantsypants said...

The cake looks fab!
I love reading your blog!
And I love that youve offered a giveaway.

:]

Melanie
clarkmurdock@yahoo.com

Jess said...

Oo, ooo... Pick me, please pick me!!!

Thanks for the great giveaway and the amazing eye candy.

Jess

Meg said...

Oh how I would love to be a closet master baker! Does being a closet novice baker count as a good first step? :)

-Meg T.

Vicki said...

Looks delish! My grandmother and mother made a lovely unfrosted date cake, very moist. Even as children, we all loved it. Cakes made with dates seem so quaintly old fashion to me. I love them!

Stephanie said...

I'd love to win this one!

Marilyn said...

Absolutely luscious looking! My mouth is watering.

TZel said...

Beautiful photos and such an inspiration! Thanks so much for this giveaway!

Vicki said...

Took a bit of digging through old recipes but here it is!

Mayonnaise Date Cake
1 c nuts
1 c dates
1 c very hot water
1 c mayonnaise (regular)
1 c sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 tsp cinnamon
2 c flour
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Pour water over dates, let set for a few minutes. Mix sugar, chocolate, cinn with mayonnaise. Add dates with water, nuts, flour, soad and salt to the mixture. Add vanilla. Mix together. Bake in 9x13 pan at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Jenny R Johnson said...

Your pictures are a real inspiration, and I look forward to trying the cake, in between pies.

Terry said...

it even looks healthy... hehehe
<3 terry

Wendy said...

I have been lurking and enjoying your lovely photos and recipes for quite some time now. As always everything looks and sounds delicious!

heather said...

oh my...the cake looks like the perfect accompaniment to a warm cup of coffee & a quiet morning!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

What a lovely cake! I love dates, but I've never baked with them before. This might be the cake to nudge me over the edge....

christa said...

love the photos and the book sounds like an interesting read!

shalini said...

I love cakes with very little filling/frosting.Brings out the flavour of the cake much more! Will surely try this beautiful cake. :)

glasswing said...

I love it without icing. It's so simple and beautiful. I have a great recipe for a date-chocolate cake. I will email it as soon as I find it. Muchos besos!

Tasha said...

That looks delicious! I love anything maple and have been wanting to try a date recipe. I might have to make it on the sly and not tell my picky little sisters what is it it, though : )

teal! said...

that cake looks wonderful. It must be quite sweet and moist with the three different sugar-ish things (date, muscovado and maple)

Sylvie said...

A date cake sounds interesting - is it's anything like Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake?

Kamini said...

hi

everyone's raving about the book - so i decided to throw my hat in the ring and hope for some luck (non-existent) . I

mmiller said...

Where did you get the cake stand? I love it!

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