Start with oatmeal, cooked, and you do this because, like us, something came up and it was noon before we came to eat breakfast and decided on lunch instead. Adjust my recipe below for whatever you added to your oatmeal and the type of oats. I used steel cut, nothing-quick-about-them, plain oats with a consistency of a beautiful, but abandoned, polenta. My frugal brain wouldn’t allow me to toss good food and I took this as an opportunity to try another ingredient in my struggle to make a moist, airy cake in my new Nordicware bundt pan.
Success on the release was the first big problem after buying the fancy pan. My perfected Genoise was light and delicate and came out of the mold in crumbles. In order to just see a cake as the positive shape of the cool pan I’d bought, I learned that when butter alone is used to grease the pan it sticks. Dust it with flour and its goopy. The best greasing agents are oils or shorting and the best dusting flour is a nut flour that will absorb moisture but keep it’s fine nutty texture. I tried this method of pan prep and my next cake released, but there were small breaks on the crest of my shape and I’m going to grind the almond meal finer next time. If that doesn’t result in a crisp ridge, I’ll run a spatula down the ridges after filling it. (Results in a later post, for sure)
I also found that most bundt cakes are more dense in texture, stronger and more likely to release from the pan. But dense cakes need ingredients that will add moisture so it feels like cake rather than brick. The last two cakes I made were chocolate with yogurt and came out of the mold beautifully. Dense was how I’d describe the texture, and verging on dry. It was lacking beauty.
So I decided the oatmeal would be a great ingredient to try. And the cake came out of the pan with just a few of those ridgeline breaks. No. 1 lesson learned: tip it over just minutes after it leaves the oven. The texture is moist and rich, not to sweet with aroma of cinnamon and clove and brilliant bits of crystallized date given to us for Christmas by our friend Heather’s mom. Very small bites of crystalized ginger would work well, too, or both.
Oatmeal Date Cake
- Cream 1/4 cup of coconut oil
- and 1/2 cup sugar
- beat in 2 large eggs
- add cooked oatmeal (starting with 1/2 cup steel cut oats)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground clove
- 1/4 tsp salt
- add enough hot water to make the batter consistency of table cream and mixed well.
- add 1 cup flour and 1/2 tsp baking powder and mix until consistent. Sift if you like, or add by pouring these dry ingredient through a mesh strainer.
- Finally, add 1/4 cup of crystallized date pieces. Mix to distribute evenly.
- coconut oil and almond flour to prep the cake pan
Bake at 350℉ for about 1 hour. Turn out of mold onto a cake plate within 5 minutes. Dust with confectioners sugar, or glaze (lemon?)