date paste

I have been wanting to use dates to sweeten cakes and other foods for a long time. Sugar is something I try and cut out as much as possible and I tend to use maple syrup instead, except in cake baking as it’s a bit more complicated as the ingredients are integral to the recipe working. So I have been reading up about the best way to use dates as a sweetener and it seems that making your own date paste is deffo the best way to incorporate them into a recipe. So far I have also read that if a recipe uses a cup of sugar, you can then add two cups of date paste but you have to bear in mind there’s more water content in the date paste and it’s not as sweet as sugar. It also keeps in the fridge for up to two weeks and let’s not forget that dates are one of the major ingredients in sticky toffee pudding. So what could go wrong flavour wise…? I will try it out in my recipes, and am really interested which flavour cakes and even biscuits it will work with…plus it will sweeten things like oatmeal for breakfast.

Ingredients:
2 cups of de-seeded dates
2 cups of water

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How:
Soak the dates overnight in the water, then drain. Tip the dates into a food processor and blend till smooth.
This can take a few minutes, the longer you process it the smoother the paste.

lastly… I think the flavours of the dates will work really well with ginger in ginger biscuits and ginger cake. One of my favourite treats from childhood was McVities Jamaica Ginger Cake. I am hoping to make a version of it using the date paste, and maybe something on the lines of a healthy sticky toffee pudding… watch this space.

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