November 21, 2008

dark date & pecan spice bread

There is a distinct chill in the air, it almost smells of snow. Here in the city we have left fall behind us and are careening towards winter. All the signs are out. The huge Norway spruce has been selected and brought to Rockefeller Center, still shrouded in scaffolding as they swag it with lights.

Cold weather means many things, but one in particular, this girl and her Trainer reach for a nice warm loaf of bread. It has become our evening ritual, a slice of bread and cup of tea and a little quite time before bed. I have been parading a variety of experimental loaves under his nose, all met with enthusiasm, but it all started when I was preparing for my trip to Alaska.

In the short time I was home I worked myself into a frenzy in Mom’s kitchen. What a joy it was to have all the space and tools I grew accustomed to in childhood. This is the kitchen of my childhood, full of love and fond memories, the room in our house where our small family of three most frequently congregated.

I danced around Mom at the stove and Dad in his seat reading the paper, brandishing my spatula and referring to two cookbooks and a recipe downloaded onto my iPhone. I experimented with various things I wanted to take with me to have as emergency food. I settled on one of Raman Prasad’s breads and one of Naomi’s

Evidently, all that recipe searching rubbed something off on me. In the fewer than 24 hours that I was in Michigan before my return to New York I was determined to make something new, my very own. I must give a nod to Naomi, Carol and Raman whose methods I have followed and incorporated into my own baking and recipe.

Now that I have recreated my original success, as has Mom, I am ready to share this recipe

Dark Date & Pecan Spice Bread

3 eggs, separated
3/4tsp cider vinegar
pinch salt

½ c. (15pc) prunes stewed in ½ c. water
4oz additive free apples sauce
2c. almond meal
1/4c. cashew butter
1tsp. baking soda
1/2c. dates, chopped
1/2c. pecans, chopped
1tsp. cinnamon
1/2tsp. cloves
1/4tsp. ginger
1/4tsp. anise extract

Preheat oven to 350 F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper

Puree the prunes and water in a blender.

Mix prune puree, apple sauce, egg yolks, almond meal, cashew butter and baking soda.

Add dates and pecans.

In a separate, large, dry bowl let egg whites warm to room temperature and add a pinch of salt.

Begin beating the egg whites with an electric mixer.

When egg whites have doubled in volume drizzle vinegar while continuing to beat.

When egg whites achieve soft peaks mix the prune puree mixture into the egg whites.

Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, when a knife or toothpick comes out clean.


kelly said...

This sounds divine - just what I have been in the mood for. I think I'll make this very soon.

dana aka Gluten Free In Cleveland said...

I adore dates. And who knew prunes could go into anything that looks so very good. This is definetly a cold-weather bread and it looks absolutely filling and yummy.

Paragon~Of~Virtue said...

Ohhhhh. That's making me hungry just looking at it.

I'll be trying this soon.