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May 17, 2011

Food for the Gods

The last time I had this must have been close to 20 years ago. I wasn't into baking then and kept buying it from this shop until I'd finally moved away and forgot all about it. Yes, there were the occasional cravings, but when you can't get it, and can't bake it .... go get distracted and do something else :D

Then I recently chanced upon Pinay Cooking Corner's blog and recipe for this and BWwwiiinggg!! all those years of cravings came rushing back at me (like when my cat ambushes me when he's playing at "attack the human/two-legged-mouse") and hit me like a ton of ... er, cat.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is a lovely recipe and exactly as how I imagined it had tasted all those years ago. It was a while before I could get started on this since dates were seasonal and fortunately for me, mum inlaw found some at the rear of her fridge space ...... a packet of semi-hard pebbly dates, bought and stored and forgotten from last year's Eid season. I wasn't too impressed with them at first, but she insisted they were fine and will be as good as new once I steamed them for 10 minutes. And what do you know!? She was right! Never knock the experience and wisdom of Seniors .... and the hoardings.

I haven't been able to find out why they've named it such (Food for the Gods), probably because it's ultra rich and ultra sweet, which is why I'll need to reduce the sugar for the next batch.

And for those who turn up their noses at dates, (I'm guilty of that, believe it or not) you really have to try this. I believe this is the only thing with dates that I'd eat. Oh wait, I do eat dates but only when they're fresh and yellow or pink and still on their stalks but not when they've over-ripened and turned a dark brown hue and the sugars have gone all winey and overly sweet. That's when this cake comes in ... Yummers!


1 1/4 cups sifted all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

8 oz butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar (reduce if you want it less sweet)

3 eggs

1 tbs molasses

1 tbs honey

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup chopped pecans (I omitted this and used 1 cup walnuts instead)

1 cup pitted dates, chopped coarsely


Preheat oven to 170˚C. Lightly grease or line a 9" X 13" pan.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Take 1/4 a cup from this and dredge the dates.

Cream butter and sugar.

Add vanilla and the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add molasses and honey and beat until evenly combined.

Stir in flour mixture.

Fold in dates and nuts.

Pour into prepared pan and bake 20 mins or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Serve as is or wrap individually with colored cellophane (that's how it's traditionally presented).

* Not for the diet conscious. :D


  1. Nuts and dates= a great combo! These bars look fantastic!

  2. Looks and sounds awesome. It seems like a variation of sticky date pudding without the sticky bit and the butterscotch sauce. Why are humans eating food for the Gods?

  3. Oh yum! My aunt just gave me a ton of dates, and now I know what I'm going to do with them. You are lucky if you have fresh ones! I've never had the fresh ones.

  4. Tiffany: Yes! Aren't they? Thanks!

    3Cookies: Hey, you're right about it being a sticky date pudding variation. Didn't even occur to me. Haha! Humans eating food for the Gods ... hmm, well, with so many seeking enlightenment and getting false notions that they're God's gift to women :P & the human kind .... who knows, humans will eat anything esp us asians. :D

    twistedkitchen: Ooohh! Perfect timing! The fresh ones we get are imported as well altho some people have tried growing them locally. Haven't had the local ones ... yet. :D Hope you love these as much as I do!

  5. Gosh, what fabulous date bars! SO wonderful...and they are definitely food for the Gods (and the mortals!).

  6. Food for the Gods is my family's favorite and I never fail to make it during special occasions.
    Glad to know you liked my recipe! :)

  7. Lizzy: Hehe ... yeah, the mortals have it pretty good too! :D

    Tina: Hi! I really have to thank you for the recipe. I've been dreaming about this for a long while. I've found another that uses melted butter and chewier but yours is the version I remembered and loved. Thanks again!

  8. Lol most of the most delicious richest foods are not for the diet conscious :p

    Looks amazingly yummy!!

  9. What a great recipe Ping! looks yummy.. and the picture is outstanding one too ! ^,^

  10. It really sounds sweeeeeeeet...with a capital S:p
    Dates are lovely, and just so versatile! Oh ya, I think some versions of this cake used rum, not sure whether it works?:)

  11. Kimberly: Very true! And Gods are supposed to be perfect so it doesn't matter anyway, right? :D No need to diet!

    Citra: Thanks, Citra!

    Christy: Haha! Sweeeeet is correct esp if the dates are extra ripe. I reduced the sugar in my 2nd batch and it's perfect. Rum? Could work. Hmm ... how about kahlua? Oooo more sweet :P

  12. I wanted to invite you to enter for a giveaway on my blog. Check it out at:

  13. Hi Rochelle, will check it out, thanks.

  14. Absolutely fantastic!
    My mouth is salivating......

  15. Ping, this cake is definitely hearty and delicious! love all the ingredients in it and almost has the consistency of banana bread that we all like. This is a must try recipe for me! Cheers!!!

  16. Ping-These bars do look delicious, and such a nice recipe from Tina. I sure would love to try this out too:D

  17. Tame Lion: Hey, thanks for visiting! I checked out your jokes, they're great! Thanks for the pick-me-up this morning :D

    Michelangelo: Thanks Art :D And you're right abt the consistency ... it's super rich tho. Beware! :P

    Elisabeth: Hi! Yup, I'm super thankful to Tina. I've missed out on these for so long and now putting on all the weight I've missed out too :P