one of the first food blogs i've ever read, years back (probably almost a decade by now?) was heidi swansons (by now classic) blog "101 cookbooks". i still remember how i felt humbled, awed and like something "clicked" when i found it. i felt oddly connected to heidi, who, in my eyes, was a hero already at the time. besides, my own cookbook collection ranges in the high two-digits veering towards 101, too, so there was this connection as well. needless to say, i read her blog religiously every day (and still to this date do).
a few cookbooks in my collection later, and i'm a food blogger myself. for over 5 years, i've been cooking and baking up a storm, creating a mess in my kitchen (and, frankly, all over the place, ahem) and learning the odds and ends of my camera's functions. from what started out as something more like a personal diary no one but my mom was interested in, this space here has become my second home and family, with a solid follower base that makes me feel appreciated and like all the work is actually "worth" it.
of course, there were times when i didn't feel like blogging, let alone cooking. times when i didn't even have time to make the dishes, next to my official job. times where everything i cooked or baked looked dull and uninspired. times when i didn't feel like eating my own food because i was so fed up with it. so where did i get the energy to keep going?
it was you. it was you cheering me on as i went. it was you reviewing my vanilla dream cake and commenting on my latest smoothie. it was you venturing with me into this blogger universe, becoming part of a community and family. it was you who made my day when sugar alone wouldn't do.
so i'm thanking you today for bearing with me, believing in me and cheering me on, constantly. you might, at times, think your feedback goes unnoticed, and that i don't recognize your efforts. but i do. i recognize both every comment and every like, and i'm always thrilled to hear your voice. thank you infinitely. thank you for giving me the power and the passion. thank you for your voice that's cheering me on. thank you for believing in fork and flower. thank you for making room
so if you like, i'd love for you to nominate fork and flower over on saveur's for the food blog award 2015. so that we can kick ass and take this baby to the next level, together. let's see where we're headed with fork and flower. the possibilities are endless, and today, they feel like they're seizable.
now, enough with the brabble and on to that sticky date cake!
sticky date cake with toffee sauce
recipe adapted from the book "sunday suppers" by karen mortdecai
yields 1 square pan (about 10 inches / 24 cm)
ingredients for the cake:
275 g dates, pitted and finely chopped
2 1/4 cups water, boiling
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
115 g butter, melted and slightly cooled
3/4 cups sugar
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 2/3 cups flour
1 pinch salt
a little coconut oil for greasing the pan
directions for the toffee sauce:
100 g butter
3/4 cups heavy cream
1 cup brown sugar
whipped cream with cinnamon for serving
preheat the oven to 180 c / 350 f and grease a square pan (10 inches / 24 cm) with a little coconut oil. finely chop the dates, then soak in the boiling water. add the baking soda and let sit for 30 minutes for the dates to soak up the water. then puree the dates in a food processor or blender until very smooth.
in another bowl combine the melted butter, both sugars and the eggs. stir to combine. add the date puree, then sieve in the flour and salt. pour into the prepared pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes. after which the cake will still be sticky, so the inserted needle will likely still be sticky, too. that's okay.
while the cake is baking, make the toffee sauce. put all the ingredients together in a pan and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and stir continuosly for a couple of minutes until the sauce thickens and turns into a dark toffee shade.
serve the cake warm, with a drizzle of the warm toffee sauce and some whipped cream with cinnamon, if you like.