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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Alexandra said...

Good Morning! What a way to end my day--12:13a/PST
I love that you left your cake 'topless'!
It looks gorgeous, and so perfect for the transition into Autumn!

Jasline said...

Oh my god, this cake looks so lovely! I've always loved the goodies that you baked and this is truly yet another masterpiece! (:

Love it!

J said...

Love the look of this cake!

Liska said...

The cake looks awesome.
Have a nice day, Helen :)

miss yerem said...

hello from berlin!the cake looks gorgeous, i can alost smell it from here:)and of yourse i would love to have the book, inspiration is always good!have a lovely day,best,anja tair@gmx.de

Marco said...

Your baking is truly breathtaking. While I'm fairly new to this blog I keep coming back for me.

Greetings from Portugal,

Marco

Miriam said...

Lovely cake and gorgeous pictures, as usual. I've just had a look at Gesine's site, the book looks very interesting!

Julie said...

This looks delicious! Julie

ZarpandiT said...

omg looks delicious ! yummy cake! it's shouts to me :D

♥peachkins♥ said...

I've been eating dates all afternoon. This looks wonderful!

jokergirl@wererabbits said...

Ohh, this sounds like an excellent book - and the cake also looks lovely!

;)

Egle said...

What a wonderful wonderful cake. Your Bill is so lovely ;)

Nags said...

The cake looks delicious! and oh my, the lighting of your pics is quite brilliant too :)

Moonberryjuice said...

Hmmmmm, cake! Eventho im not really a fan of dates this cake looks delicious!

Simo said...

Che meraviglia di dolce, complimenti!

I spy....... said...

It looks just the thing for me to try an bake, what with the excess of dates we've received from friends over this month! There's only so much Sticky Toffee Pudding to be done.
Hmm...wondering if I can try substituting the maple sugar with our local palm sugar (type found in Malaysia, similar to the Thai one)which has slightly treacle-like taste. That should be interesting.

Julia @Mélanger said...

I can't wait to read that book. I recently added it to my (ever expanding) wishlist. Love this cake. Beautiful, as always. The best date loaf I've made is from Dorie Greenspan's classic, Baking: From my Home to Yours. I recently entered a state baking competition here in Brisbane and it was a hit! Have you tried that one before? Well worth it. I'm sure your husband would drop into the kitchen come for many imaginary glasses of water when baking that one, too!

Sanpelaio said...

This cake looks fantastic!!!

miss milki said...

Looks delicious! I love your blog and your beautiful photos btw! :)

aandara said...

Oh my God what a cake it looks so good
Amalia

Bea said...

All your pictures look so wonderful.
Some I put on my favourites and this one is a real favourite.

Diana said...

Sounds like a delicious cake, I'd like to bake it! Pick me?

Bea said...

Love your cooking and the pictures of it.

carrieitly said...

The book (and cake!!) sound fab! Wanna get my hands on it (the book... wanna get my mouth around that cake), but it's not available on Amazon UK, so thanks for the opportunity!

núria said...

Your pictures are so inspiring! Love the one with the ready-to-be-filled-with-tea cups, it's so peaceful and Autumn anticipating... Like the idea of The Edible Word, so nice...Congrats!

Jasmin said...

Looking at this beautiful cake alone made me drool. Reading on about the ingredients you used made it worse. I really need to make this cake sooner than later. Seems like a perfect combination of my favourite ingredients!

simi523 said...

Always an inspiration!

Artsy Momma said...

as good as the cake looks I love the cake stand just as much!!

Erika said...

I love this naked cake because you can taste the inside without any invasive taste. It looks amzing!

Simran said...

First comment from a long time reader and fan...gosh! that cake looks gorgeous. But then, everything on your blog does.

Do you think you can cheat and just give me the book? :)

Either way, I am putting this down as a book to read for our "online" book club. We call it "This Book Makes Me Cook"

sharon said...

Well, the book really sounds interesting. And the cake really looks yummy. I love the flavor of brown sugar.

Dental Girl said...

I have a packet of dates sitting in the pantry all lonely. This cake looks like it would do them justice.

Romy said...

Here is my book-wishing comment! And I love your cake stand. :)

Jaya said...

I've always been partial to date bars--but a date cake?!! That's almost too delicious to endure! It looks lovely, though.

Maria said...

It looks delicious and perfect for the autumn weather we're having right now. I love dates.

Southern Gal said...

I've been reading/drooling over your site for a while. I think it's the first time I've commented though. Maybe if you FROZE the cake slice and then shipped it? I'm grasping at straws here to get a piece of that gorgeous cake!

My son's 18th birthday is Sunday. He LOVES chocolate cake. I'm searching your archives for a great chocolate cake for him.
Thanks.

Lia said...

ME! ME! ME! I love your blog and I love books... and I love dates as well :)

Elodie said...

I just discovered your blog today and what a great post, this cake looks amazing!

Rachel said...

Brown sugar, dates and a maple sugar buttercream.....nice!

Amicus Cupcake said...

What a wonderful cake. I want that book if only for the recipe!

Elizabeth said...

oh my gosh delicious!

Dominique said...

Je partagerais bien un morceau de gâteau avec toi! je veux bien apporter le thé...

asides said...

Love the look of this cake, will have to look for something similar. The book sounds like one I would like, love cookbooks that tell a story along with recipes.

Jennifer said...

Oh ...my....what a perfect cake!! The flavor combination throughout sings songs from my foodie heart! What a lovely giveaway!!
Beautiful photos :)

tj said...

...Hello, I found you via Pioneer Woman and I am so glad that I did - I truly enjoy your site! :o)

...And that cake is just absolutely spectacular!

...Thank you for the giveaway and blessings to you too... :o)

Anne said...

This cake looks fantastic! Even a simple stack of cakes can look amazing when so much love and care are put into it.

Spinnitter said...

Love the look of the cake! Love the story that goes with it! Would love to have a copy of the book!

Anh said...

Oh my the cake looks wonderful! I would love to get that book, too!!

Lazy Boo said...

Great post - cake looks amazing, and post made me laugh - spatulating? Awesome

Tovah said...

Actually I'm usually not a fan of lots of frosting so this cake looks perfect with just the inside layers frosted.

Katya said...

Gorgeous. I could read those xyz-turned baker books by the thousand, the way some people read harlequin romances. Oh, wish fulfillment.

I've never baked so light looking a cake with dates, my experience has been more in the Sticky Toffee Pudding realm, which is not so picturesque, but deeply rewarding. Although I remember how skeptical I was the first time. "Sticky date cake? Ehh?" Little did I know.

Diana said...

I love the idea of not frosting the cake and letting the layers show. Beautiful!

Kate said...

Spatulating is a fabulous word, Helen!

Future Grown-Up said...

I've been hearing raves about this book...what a great giveaway.

D

Blair Buras said...

This cake looks delish...I must win (or buy) this cookbook!

La Table De Nana said...

You just made me want to buy the book even more..I watched her video clip and loved it..This cake looks perfect for your Bill..my Jacques.

Hannah said...

Your cake looks fabulous!!!

Hannah

Kat said...

Nothing better than a book that is wonderful and inlcudes recipes that are wonderful.

Andi said...

This cake looks wonderful! And your book review makes me want to run out and buy the book now! Andi

Emily Lauren said...

Oh, wonderful!
One of my New Years Resolutions has been to bake 1/month, and this would help me for a 2nd year in a row!

-Emily Lauren

Jon said...

I am always looking for brown sugar cakes. This one looks scrumptious!

storyscribe said...

That looks delicious and I love how you left it unfrosted on top. I wish more bakers did that. It lets the cake itself shine rather than just the buttercream.

dewi said...

The cake looks delectable and so are all of your creations.

Each time after looking at your posts, it does makes me want to try doing them myself but of course my result is never the same as yours.

Thanks
D

ballisticjaguar said...

The cake looks delicious!

Happy cook said...

Reading about bill indeed he is lik a kid when there is baking going on.
It is indeed a huge cake , as always it looks gorgeous.

sampling said...

It looks wonderful! I love your website with all the beautiful photographs and inspiring recipes!!!!

VeggieGirl said...

Bill is a lucky recipient!! :)

Pâmela said...

Yummy, this cake looks tasty and it is beautiful, great job :)

xxx

www.pamelabrandao.com/recipes

Aparna said...

I think your decision to leave the cake plain on the outside is a good one.
My husband is just the same, whether being easy to bake for or the "checking out" of the kitchen. :)
Wish the postal department would change its policies regarding shipping cake!

Jo said...

Who could have asked for a better combination - dates and muscovado sugar! Absolutely delicious.

Lydia said...

Looks like the perfect cake to serve at girls' tea time when my mother-in-law comes to visit! Beautiful as always.

Deepa said...

Wow lovely cake with healthy Dates.

shaz said...

Love all the earthy sweetness in this cake: the dates, the muscovado and the maple syrup sound like such a wonderful combo. Yum!

Kerrin @ MyKugelhopf.ch said...

Here it is! You knew how excited I was as soon as I saw your tweet about baking with dates. I looooove dates, they are my favorite food, hands down. I will admit a bit of disappointment at not having your version of the recipe, but I am also thrilled to discover a new book, baker and writer! Thanks!! Meanwhile, that cake is gorgeous! I'll keep my fingers crossed that Bill's lucky number is... ?!

Oh, you asked for date recipes, I have only posted one so far on my blog, here it is: a banana date cake, enjoy!

Tracy @ Sugarcrafter said...

The cake looks delicious!

LadyWild said...

Yum! Tasty!

Jenny said...

I'd love to get my hands on that recipe, that cakes look delicious!

littlemebigyou said...

I am so excited at the possibility to not only get my hands on this recipe, but also read the book. After such a stellar review, who could NOT be excited?

I must agree with Alexandra about your "toplessness" being the way to go with the cake. I've never been much of an icing person for the very reason of it usually overpowering the subtle flavors of homemade cakes. Can't wait to try this one out!

Thanks so much for the giveaway :)
Nadia

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

OMG this cake looks soo good! I've been following Giselle since the longest time, I love reading her posts :) I'm waiting for her book to release here!

Julia said...

the cake is gorgeous and looks so yummy (as usual! Love your blog!). The book looks so cool, I hope my number gets picked!

Sarita said...

I'm in love with anything that has dates :)

mowielicious said...

So simple and so gorgeous, I can almost, the muscavado even makes it look moist.

{Cassandra} said...

This sounds like a wonderful book! I would love to add {and the recipes} to my collection!!

mimi1214 said...

I'm a new visitor to your site, via Pioneer Woman - love your blog and your photography. Fingers crossed for a fun new book.

Mireya said...

That cake looks delicious - and the buttercream, wow!
Thanks for the giveaway :)

Erica said...

Oh, that cake looks delectable! Would love to win this book. :)

Robin said...

That cake looks wonderful, i would love to make it or just try it. I wonder if the bakery is still open in Montpelier. We are going to Montpelier tomorrow.

-Robin (from Hippo Flambe)

Anita said...

That sounds like such a fun book.

Carmen said...

beautiful cake!! :)

Calvine said...

The cake looks delicious and your pictures are particularly stunning this morning. Thanks for the giveaway!

Adrienne said...

That cake looks divine...

ag

Jessica said...

I love Gesine's blog as well and really wanted this book when I saw it was coming out.

Sonia said...

I never try to bake a cake with dates, I wish I can have this book to give it a try. Anyway, your cake look really yummy and awesome shoting as usual.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A perfect afternoon tea cake!

Cheers,

Rosa

Flying Lessons said...

Love the cake stand!

Fitri said...

I always adore your baking tallent, and pretty picture is always become a precious bonus :-)

Parita said...

The cake does sound fantastic! never tried with a date before..my little sis is just liek your hubby :)

Jaynie said...

This morning the field behind my house was full of geese taking a pit-stop on their way south and now this lovely cake. I am definately in the mood for fall.

Nirvana's Kitchen said...

How beautiful! Thanks for hosting this giveaway

Phoo-D said...

Another stunningly beautiful creation! This sounds warm and comforting. Wish I had a piece right now!

Ina & Stacey said...

let me eat cake!!

movespeak said...

Mm, that looks delicious!

Erin said...

That cake is beautiful! That cake stand is gorgeous as well.

lgk said...

Oh, how I love date cake! I've yet to find a good recipe, and I've tried tons of bad ones!

Nicole said...

This looks amazing! I love the look with no frosting outside.

Julia said...

maple sugar buttercream sounds amazing!

jessicajlee said...

This looks amazing - we do nearly everything at home with maple sugar.

The Whimsical Cupcake said...

i've been wanting to experiment with dates but i'm rather intimidated, i don't know why but i take one look and i turn away. *shrugs* but your cake makes me want to conquer my fear :)

strawberriesinparis said...

We made a date mousse on Labor Day for my cookbook club! beautiful looking cake there helen!!

Amy said...

May we all have the kahunas to follow our passion(s) as Gesine did.

sylvia said...

The cake looks wonderful! I'd love to see the book :)

Christina said...

I was hoping for the recipe so I can give it to my Mother-in-law who has a fig tree and likes making frosting. Therefore I should win. :)

Amy said...

I cannot wait to read this book and beautiful cake.

Corey :) said...

One of my dreams is to run off and start a bakery. Maybe someday. Hopefully someday. :)

h. hart said...

Ohh I TOO am a closet baker...though maybe "master" is stretching it. What a lovely book.

willowbirdbaking said...

This cake is just gorgeous and sounds delicious! No wonder your husband was thrilled as it was erected :)

Jas. said...

This looks so delicious and I love the rustic-ness (is that even a word?) of the bare cake.

I have just posted a yummy Date & Ginger Cake (Gluten Free too!) on my blog. Please, enjoy it.

http://bit.ly/eGzqd

Keep Cooking.
The Gluten Free Scallywag

Asha @ FSK said...

I don't think the P.O will object to some macarons though!! :))) I Love macarons and yours looks delicious!

Karine said...

Hello Helen, Love the cake. So good to have more recipes for dates.
Dates are so good for you and they taste divine. As a young girl living in Egypt (now living in Canada) I used to eat a big variety of dates. They are so common there, that you almost forget they could be a treat else where in the world. My Syrian grandmother used to make us this amazing dessert with dates. I would be happy to share it with you and all Date lovers. It is so simple yet so delicious. Beware of calories though.
Mémé Lola Date Bomb:
- 5 big meringues
- About 1 lb of Black or brown fresh dates (pitted and skinned) – you can use dried dates that you have soaked in warm water to tenderize
- 1 cup Crème Chantilly (or whipped cream)
- ¼ cup fine sugar
- 1 or 2 table spoons of rhum or brandy (optional, but oh so good)

Whip the 35% cream with sugar till it gets fluffy. Add the rhum and beat for 1 min more.
Cut the dates in quarters or to bite size pieces.
Break the meringues in pieces.
Mix all the ingredients together and serve in a big glass bowl. Serve immediately. Bonne appétit.
Karine

Sara said...

What a beautiful cake!

Dana Treat said...

That is a beautiful cake and while I would normally reach for chocolate, I might change my mind here. I have never heard of that book but I'd love to read it.

Dragana said...

Dates are my all-time favorite snack. I must bake with them more often. Thanks for the chance to win the cookbook!

Dolce said...

That surely should be a great book, given the blog of the author...
And the picture of the cake is a great preview of what it will be indeed!

girlfromtexas said...

How timely for me! After 20 years of singleness, I have a new boyfriend. Who LOVES my cooking - especially the sweet stuff. I'll have to add this to my arsenal. As for other date cakes...Warren Brown's chocolate butter cake with his new-fangled German Chocolate frosting. I forget exactly what he calls it, but it's in his book (which so far is turning out to be a pretty good resource). Another cake I'm going to spring on The Boyfriend is a chocolate salted caramel cake. I've tried one from a bakery, and this recipe from Bon Appetit looks like the source: http://www.bonappetit.com/magazine/2008/09/chocolate_cake_with_fleur_de_sel_caramel_filling

Love your blog! It's a must-read for me.

trishki said...

This book just got added to my "to read" list, what a coincidence! That beautiful cake makes me want to snag the book even more!

Brienne said...

The cake looks and sounds delicious. Your photography is just beautiful.
I've been searching for my next book to read and I think I may have found it. I think I could definitely see me in her journey, as I dream for the day I can leave my engineering job to open a bakery.

Erika and Blake said...

Absolutely gorgeous!
I'm going to track down this recipe for our next get-together.

A year or so ago, I made this date cake:
http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1860090

Served it with coconut gelato, and it was delish, but I confess, though it is a "cooking light" recipe, I may have made some alterations that caused the recipe to be a little less light!

Thank you for the constant inspiration!

Mona said...

I'd love a new book!

Pepper Jack said...

De-lurking for the first time to say how much I adore you blog. Mouthwatering goodness on every page!

Anne-Cecile said...

This cake looks 'très savoureux'! I would love to powder a little sweetness on my life these days. :) Merci!

Anne-Cécile

Hilda said...

WANT! C'est bôôôôôô. I love cakes with dates in them 'cuz I love dates, unripe, ripe, you name it. And I think it looks even better without the outside buttercream. Such lovely pictures. Can I be you when I grow up?

Evelyn said...

Beautiful pictures, as ever!

Rik said...

I would love this!

Mary Ann said...

I love the photos you produce! I don't think my shoddy camera skills, nor my tiny digital camera, can produce anything as lovely:)

B said...

This looks wonderful!

tastysnacktreats said...

I have never baked with dates but this cake might change my mind, it looks wonderful!

My comfort food network said...

I love anything and everything that has dates. So this is definitely my kind if cake. Love it, Love it, Love it.

Claire said...

Who doesn't need a date cake that calls for a second?
Now Bill, work with me on that one!

MollyCookie said...

You have such beautiful pictures, and I love your cake plate! Great post.

jillp said...

Hope I win, but even if I don't - you've made a convincing argument to buy the book!

Deborah said...

Looks delightful, I'd love to win

Yossi said...

It's amazing how you can make a simple cake looks very gorgeous! :)

Love your baking. :)

Caroline said...

Yum! I love dates. Even if i don't win this is a great Christmas present for my sister - thanks for the idea.

Sarah said...

I've been wanting to read that book! My grandmother used to makr a date nut cake with orange glaze. It was amazing. I have the recipe, but I've never made it...

K said...

This is the perfect "start of autumn" cake! Simply lovely!

Adi said...

Thanks for the giveaway! Count me in!

kate said...

I love all your photos. Yum! Thanks so much.

Heather Sabra said...

I wonder if her macaron recipe included in the book.I saw her last Tuesday in the Foodnetwork baking them with the Neely's but she never revealed the recipe.They are different than the traditional macarons but easier as well.

Mrs. G said...

Sounds like a cake I would like to make (and eat).

jill said...

your photographs are always so beautiful. i love the naked look of this cake - it brings out its personality.

jillypap

Estie said...

I've been itching tor ead this, but with so much going on, haven't found the time to pick up a copy-sounds great though!

Mythili said...

Wow, what a coincidence. I baked a date cardamom cake for my hubby's brithday just yesterday. The cake looks yum!

Brianne said...

If I'm half as inspired by this book as I am by reading your site Helen, it would be worth going out and buying the book. I do hope I win though!

meeshka said...

I love the name of your book and share your love of baking...

Your photos capture your talent and gift beautifully!

Mary

miosotiis said...

Will you send it to Portugal?

Please....

:)*

Kristiana said...

I'm always looking for a good book...

Natalie Wilbur-Muth said...

I've never been brave enough to bake a cake with dates.... but after looking at yours, I would love to try! Pick me!

Bbq Dude said...

My 3 1/2 year old son adores dates and baking. This recipe will be a good one for him!

Ashley said...

Yumm! I want to bake that cake for my boyfriend, he would love it!

kornik said...

Everyone want to get a book from you. Maybe you'll add a piece of this fabulous cake to the package?

Silvana said...

Please send it to Argentina!! =) Thanks

Moira said...

The photos are lovely as always and the cake looks simple but delicious. Certain a good reason to have that book :)
Regards
Moira

Lovey said...

This looks like a great book to get me in the mood for baking. The oven has been off for most of the summer, but the cooler nights are beckoning me to bake.

:)

Abbie said...

Sounds like a great book!

skimmy said...

i love that your blog continues to challenge me to push the limits of my baking skills...your stuff is BEAUTIFUL!

Petsura said...

I can almost taste this! Your photography is always so delicious!

delightfullysweet said...

Lovely cake! The "naked" look makes you appreciate the cake even more!

Thanks for the giveaway!

delightfullysweet said...

Lovely cake!
The "naked" cake makes you appricate the taste even more!

Thanks for the giveaway!

Ri said...

This cake sounds amazing! I am going to look it up on the internet while anxiously awaiting the outcome of the contest! Thank you for the opportunity.

Jean said...

Hello! Wow, you bake cakes exactly the way I like to eat them! :D I love that you left it nude on the outside. Although your decision was very practical, I also think it is possible to have too much frosting (I know--gasp!) by covering an entire cake. All that fluff is tempting to look at, but sometimes that messes with the integrity of the actual cake flavor. I also love that you used two different kinds of sugar. Muscovado's one of my favorites for it's deep molasses flavor and also because it's fun to say. Great post!

Helena said...

This looks great! I've been reading your blog for a while, but haven't commented yet...there's nothing like a giveaway to initiate lots of first time commenters!

Sunshinemom said...

Delicious looking photographs as always:).

emily said...

Dates are one of my absolute favorite dried fruits, yet I've never cooked with them. Maybe if I win this cookbook, that could change things? ;)

mardoc said...

love dates and would love to have this book!

Madeleine said...

I'd almost trade a piece of the cake for a chance at that book...almost. ;o)

Nadine said...

My favorite cake recipe can be found here
http://www.hungrybrowser.com/phaedrus/m1122M04.htm#3
When made with fresh coconut it's amazing, but even made with packaged stuff it's pretty good.

Tahoe Grrl said...

That cake looks divine!

kateiline said...

I found your website recently from Pioneer Woman; it's my first comment. Your pictures always look so lovely, and I want to make EVERYTHING you've made! It all looks so yummy, especially this "naked" cake that won't be a sickly sweet as all those cakes from boxes with frosting from cans (yuck).

V. said...

OMG that cake looks amazing! I'd love to try it out...if only I had the book. (Hint hint) :)

Navita (Gupta) Hakim said...

Hey lo dear. That cake looks delsih in all its rustic glory.

As for a good date cake recipe...one my mom-in-law makes where she soaks the date in some rum. YUM..hick..yum! lol

Hope Bill picks up my number. :)

Thanks for the giveaway.
Hugs,
Navita

minisuperbias said...

I love how simple it looks on your cake tray. It's hard to eat foods that are elaborately decorated, but no guilt slicing into this beauty!

Hannah said...

Beautiful cake! Thanks for the giveaway.

sarahe said...

even before i saw your contest i was going to post a comment about how badly i want to read that book! i have been eyeing it lately and trying to decide whether or not to add it to my (overwhelming) book collection.

the cake looks wonderful btw!

ShirasChoice said...

Hi Helene,

This cake is special. I could try covering it with fondant and create a new flavor rather then traditional chocolate, vanilla flavor...

Shira

Christina said...

The cake looks absolutely scrumptious. I wish you can mail out a piece of that!!!

cheiron said...

Love the cake and would love to win the book!

martina said...

This cake is lovely... and your husband too! I'm always enjoy myself when someone is curious but refuses to admit it! You're lucky to have him, but I know why he tries everything...everything is delicious and soo soo beautiful!
thanks for the giveaway opportunity!
Martina

cindy* said...

the cake looks amazing and the book sounds like a great read ;)

Valerie L. said...

All I need is the recipe for this amazing looking cake! I bought the most luscious Medjool dates last week and they are begging to be used. As usual, your blog sings to my heart. Thank you!

stephb said...

What an awesome cake! I must try it for my brother's birhtday this year!!!!

Patricia Scarpin said...

as if your blog wasn't irresistible enough, with all the yummy desserts and your wonderful posts, Helen, now a beautiful gift like this one?
Tks, darling!

aerussell said...

Mmmm! This cake looks so delicious! I just love reading your blog and seeing all your wonderful recipes!

Tracey said...

Maple sugar buttercream...I think I'm in heaven! Yum!!!

:) T

Kathryn said...

What a beautiful cake. I can practically smell it!

Rose125 said...

I think I'll make that tomorrow night!!

Jill said...

That cake sounds fabulous, and so does the cookbook. Maybe it would help me in my quest to become a more intuitive baker.

oOcallasOo said...

Oh, I have to have that recipe! It looks delicious and like the perfect cake to bring to my next course at university in autumn.
Therefore I sincerely hope to be the lucky number! :)

My mail: i.kuess at gmx.net

J'aime votre blog!

Snooky doodle said...

This morning I was just wondering how to use a bag of muscovado sugar. This cake looks delicious and want to try it. I ve heard so much about this book I really want it. I ve got some cookies and cupckaes with dates on my new blog. Here s the link http://snookysrecipedoodles.blogspot.com/

Stephanie said...

I love the idea of maple buttercream!

laurasiphone said...

Beautiful cake!

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