I love a good family recipe. In my opinion, these are the tried and true recipes that have stuck for generations. Most, if not all, seem to have stories behind them. Others are loved for the memories they generate. Some were made on a weekly basis, and the home would never be void of them; or made only for special occasions, making the occasion impossible to fathom without them.
This date-walnut loaf (كيكة التمر و الجوز) is not one of my family recipes, but it is just as good as if it were.
I got it from the Iraqi Family Cookbook, which reads like an intimate glimpse into an Iraqi family’s home and history.
1 cup chopped dates
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
2 Tbsp butter or ghee, soft
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup walnuts,coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350F.
Butter and flour a loaf pan; set aside.
Cover the dates in one cup of boiling water and leave for 15 minutes to soften and cool.
In a separate bowl, put all the ingredients together, and lastly the dates and their soaking water.
Mix until combined.
Pour the batter in the prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour.
Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan before turning out on a rack to cool completely.
I drizzled some date molasses over the cake.
This cake develops in both taste and texture after an overnight stay in the refrigerator (covered).