So I have been absent for a while from this blogging plate from. I have been trying to live in the present moment and not in the past or the futire and it has been a challenge to try and not think too far into the future and not to dwell on the past.
I have also been spending most of my evenings, in bed crocheting. I love crocheting and it is so calming, that I tend to fall asleep after a few rows.
My mother has been talking about date rolls, since the beginning of time. They are her favorite, well they used to be. Since she became a vegetarian, she hasn’t had a date roll.
All the date roll recipes that she has or that I have encountered online contain eggs. Normally I would substitute an egg with a vegan flax seed, but in this instant this sort of substitution doesn’t work as the dough would have flecks of flax seeds throughout and look very unappetizing. Then I remembered that a few months back, I had come across egg replacer powder and seeing as I use the replacer powder in milktarts and egg based custard desserts, why not try it with dough as well? What could go wrong???
The original recipe gave a modified eggless version, where you had to up the butter and flour content. From personal experience I know that when I don’t get the butter content right my cakes turn into a disastrous mess that my parents never let me live down.
I took my chances and replaced the two eggs that the recipe required with 1tbsp egg replacer powder mixed with 4 tbsp water and a whole lot of prayers. The end result was pretty amazing, it looked like dough should look if it had eggs in. My brother seemed to have enjoyed it, seeing as he sat and watched the mixer while the dough was being formed and then demanded that for every piece of dough I turned into a date ball, he got the same size piece of dough to eat.
I once heard an Indian Aunty tell me that she weighs her cakes, so that each customer gets the same weight banana loaf, or koeksister or fruit cake. No one gets cheated, equality is the name of the game. Since hearing that I try to measure my treats I make, actually the only things I really measure are my Indian biscuits, Gulab Jambo and now date rolls.
I made each ball 20g like I do with my gulab jambo, seeing as this recipe had baking powder in. I wasn’t 100% sure how much growing would occur in the oven. Also baking powder and I don’t work well together, whenever I bake a cake with baking powder in, the cake turns to rubber, another reason why I made small balls, less chance of flop.
I had to make this recipe again, the first time I made it, I skipped over the first line, so instead of creaming sugar and butter together, I landed up trying to cream butter and cake flour together. It didn’t seem right, but seeing as I had never attempted this recipe before I just went with it, and then when the dough didn’t want to come together, I read over the ingredients and only then did I see the sugar I had omitted. Into the bin the first attempt went and the second attempt went soo much better.
Then came the oven part, my mother freaked me out, that I kept turning the pan every 5 minutes, because she told me that coconut catches very quickly and being me, I would have forgotten I had something in the oven , until I started smelling something burning and by then another disaster would have been on my hands. So every 5 minutes turning and turning to prevent burning but rather trying to create an even browning of the coconut.
End results, perfect. My parents seemed to love these date balls. My mother gave me strict instructions to not share this with anyone and under no circumstances to give my father for lunch as this was and hers alone. She gave in eventually and shared a few with my dad, but he also couldn’t get enough. Me on the other hand, I are one to taste and a half with my evening tea, but I am not a date fan at all.
Ingredients for the dough:
- 2 x cups cake flour.
- 113g x butter, room temperature.
- ½ x cup castor sugar.
- 1 x tsp baking powder.
- 1 x tbsp. egg replacer powder mixed with 4Tbsp water.
- 1 x tsp vanilla essence.
- Pinch of salt.
- 250g x pitted dates
- ½ x cup milk.
- ½ x cup desiccated coconut.
- In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
- Add in the remaining ingredients and mix till the dough comes together and forms a soft cookie dough.
- Break of pieces of dough and shape into a ball.
- Make an indent in the center and stuff with the pitted dates.
- Shape the filled dough into a long finger shape.
- Dip into the milk, shake off excess milk.
- Roll into the desiccated coconut.
- Place on a greased baking tray.
- Pop into a preheated oven and bake at 180 degrees for 30 minute, making sure to turn the tray ever few minutes.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking tray before placing on a cooling rack and allowing to cool completely.