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)
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