Makes 4 to 6 servings
Although this is not a baked cake per se, it is formed into a cakelike log. It is a great little snack out of hand, but it is also one of the tastiest accompaniments to cheese, so it makes a fantastic addition to almost any cheese tray. This “cake” gets better with age, so you can make a large batch and it will keep in the refrigerator for two months, tightly wrapped.
- 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 lb pitted dates, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons Spice Mix (see above)
- 1 lb whole almonds, peeled and lightly toasted
- To make the spice mix: Toast the spices in a sauté pan over medium heat for 2 minutes, combine in a spice grinder, and grind for 1 minute.
- To make the cake: Combine the dates, pomegranate molasses, honey, and spice mix in a small saucepan. Slowly cook over very low heat until the dates are soft. Immediately place the mixture in a food processor and process until smooth; the mixture will be extremely dense, so it is easier to work with if it is still warm.
- Return the date mixture to the pan and, using a wooden spoon, fold in the almonds.
- Remove the mixture from the pan, place on a greased sheet pan, and, working quickly, form it into a log approximately 2 inches in diameter. Place the log on a piece of plastic wrap and roll it up tightly, leaving enough plastic wrap free on either end to grab at both ends. Holding the ends of the plastic wrap in each hand, have someone else twist it in one direction until it tightens up completely. If no one is available, just roll the log on the countertop in one direction to compact it.
- Let the log cool to room temperature, then refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve. Cut the log into small pieces to serve.