Sometime back, I had made a vegan coconut cake using a recipe from the book Veganomicon. It came out so good that I swore I would make it again just to blog at least. The day I made it, I was taking it to work and had no time to take pictures. When I was thinking of making the same cake to take to someone's house, all of a sudden I got this crazy idea of adapting that to make almond and date cake with cardamom flavor. I followed the steps of making almond milk but used more dates and made a thick puree without filtering it and proceeded with very minimal changes. This cake is so good that if someone eats it, they will definitely go for the second slice and the third and so on.
Almonds - 1 cup (I didn't remove the skin but you could if you want a lighter color cake)
Dates - pitted 15 (You could omit this and increase sugar by about 1/4 - 1/3 cup)
All purpose flour - 3 cups
Salt - 1 tsp
Baking powder - 2 tsp
Baking Soda - 1 tsp
Cardamom - 10 pods crushed or about 1 1/2 tsp powder
Sugar - 1 1/2 cups
Vegetable or Canola Oil - 2/3 cup
For glaze and garnish: (adapted from a glaze recipe in cake mix doctor book)
Milk - 2 TBSP (You could heavy cream. I didn't have any)
Sugar - 3 TBSP
Brown Sugar - 2 TBSP
Almond extract - 1/2 tsp
Butter - 2 TBSP
Sliced almonds - 3 - 4 TBSP (You might not need all of it)
Soak almond and dates in warm water to cover them for about 4 hours. Grind into a smooth paste in a blender. Use enough water so that the resultant liquid/puree is 2 1/4 cups.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. I did mine at 325 F since I was using a dark nonstick pan. Grease and flour the pan and set aside. In a bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cardamom powder. In another bowl whisk together the date and almond puree with oil. Dump the dry ingredients to the wet and stir to combine. Do not over mix. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 - 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool on the wire rack in the pan for about 10 minutes before turning it on to the wire rack to cool completely. When completely cool, glaze or just sprinkle with powdered sugar.
To make the glaze:
In a sauce pan, stir sugar, brown sugar, milk, butter till dissolved stirring constantly. Let it boil for about 1 minute stirring often. Turn off the heat and add almond extract. Let it sit for about 5 minutes before pouring on to the cake. You can leave it at this or sprinkle some sliced almonds on the top.
Since I could not slice the cake to take a picture, I took part of the batter and baked it in a mini loaf pan.