Chocolate Chip Cake

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I’m starting to wade into uncharted waters my friends. Uncharted waters for me anyways. I’m starting to test recipes that are on random index cards given to me by various family members, having never seen the finished products. It has been *quite* an interesting weekend full of breads that resemble bricks, two steak recipes (one good one bad), homemade wine that is still in process (cross your fingers…and your toes), a curious jar full of hardboiled eggs and (thank you God) this very very tasty cake. It all started when my Aunt Merri handed me this pristine index card and said “Grandma Lorraine used to make this. It’s yummy.”

And with that promise, I forged ahead.

It starts with 1 cup of dates, chopped (different that 1 cup of chopped dates).

Add dates and 1 teaspoon baking soda in a small bowl. Pour 1 cup boiling water over dates and set aside to cool.

In a separate bowl, sift 1 3/4 cups flour, 2 tablespoons cocoa and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

In yet another bowl (let’s give thanks for dishwashers, shall we?) cream 1 cup softened unsalted butter, 1 cup sugar and 2 beaten eggs.  Then alternately add the sifted flour mixture and date mixture until thoroughly incorporated. I forgot to get a picture of that final product so go ahead, close your eyes and envision what it may look like 😀

Pour into a greased 9×13 pan and sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts on top. If you’re using nuts as well as chocolate chips then 1 cup of each is plenty. However, I was making this for a friend of mine that is pregnant and I’m not sure how she’s feeling about nuts these days (it’s been a rough pregnancy) so I chose to omit those and bumped the chocolate chips to 1 1/2 cups.

So with a wing and a prayer – having never seen this cake before in my life – I put it in the oven. 350* for 25-30 minutes.

LORD. HAVE. MERCY. This cake is amazing. If you’ve never baked with dates before let me reassure you that all they do is serve to make the cake moist and perfect. Nothing ‘date-y’ about this cake. Heck that cocoa disappears and simply serves to deepen the flavor. The chocolate chips sink in and create a chocolatey top layer.  You just have to try it. Trust Grandma Lorraine.

Chocolate Chip Cake

1 cup boiling water

1 cup dates, chopped

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1 3/4 cups flour

2 tablespoons baking cocoa

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 – 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup nuts (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 325*
  2. In a small bowl pour boiling water over the dates and baking soda.  Set aside to cool.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl sift together the flour, baking cocoa & salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together butter and white sugar. Add eggs and beat thoroughly. Add date mixture and flour mixture, alternating mixtures. Pour into greased 9×13 pan and sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts on top.
  5. Bake for 25-30 min. until toothpick comes out clean.

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