Flourless Walnut Date Cake

14 Nov

Gluten-free desserts seem to be less of a specialty and more of a commodity; there are so many people with a gluten intolerance and Celiac’s disease is more prevalent in our society. Restaurants, grocery stores and bakeries are all taking initiative and offering gluten-free options for those leading a gluten-free lifestyle: progress!

Don’t get me started on why I think there are more and more people who are sensitive to wheat products. I feel that it has a lot to do with how our food is processed and the quality of product coming from our farms. Our food isn’t what it used to be: there are so many preservatives and unnatural ingredients that are being incorporated into what we consume, it’s no wonder our bodies are having difficulty digesting what we eat.

Anyway.

I happened to have bought a big bag of walnuts on a whim. They’ve been sitting in my freezer just aching to be dealt with. I threw a few into some oatmeal cookies (stay tuned), but I was still left with a substantial amount.

As a Jew (I use the term as loosely as I can considering I’m not a very good one) I grew up eating flourless cakes during passover where the use of flour (among other things) is forbidden. I remember them being light and nutty, and rather scrumptious!

This is why I decided that it was time to make a walnut date cake. I’m sure that’s the conclusion any normal individual would come to…

It’s the eggs in this recipe that help the cake rise. Ground walnuts give it body. The dates are there just because they were invited. There’s a chocolate glaze on top for good measure.

Gluten free dieter? Bake this cake. Are you a gluten eater? So am I. You should still bake and consume this cake. It’s delicious and there is very little sugar, no butter or oil….unless you count the glaze but that can easily be omitted or substituted.

It’s a winner. I might even say that I’m NUTS about it. (I’m sorry)

Just make sure you like walnuts! Other nuts can be substituted.

Flourless Walnut Date Cake

3 cups walnut halves

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup sugar

4 large eggs, separated

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pinch of kosher salt

3/4 cup chopped pitted dates

For the glaze

2 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

4 tablespoon unsalted butter (or coconut oil)

1 teaspoon honey

Toasted walnuts, for topping

 

Put the walnuts, cinnamon and 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor; pulse until finely ground but not powdery.

Whisk the egg yolks and vanilla in a small bowl.

Beat the egg whites and salt in a large bowl until foamy. Beat in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until soft peaks form for about 8 minutes. Fold in the yolk mixture and dates, then fold in the ground walnut mixture. Scrape the batter into a 9 inch greased spring form pan. Bake until the cake is golden and a toothpick comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Let cool.

Put the chocolate, butter and honey in a saucepan until butter is melted. Whisk until smooth. Cool slightly, then pour over the cake. Top with walnuts.

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