Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Permutation, Prototype: Date Nut Bread/Cheese Cake Hybrid

Last week's food related daydream was a hybrid of date nut bread with a ribbon or tunnel of cheese cake filling, given most people I know eat date nut bread with a shmear of cream cheese.

I thought about it long and hard and found the recipe over at King Arthur Flour, which seemed a decent enough jumping off point, at least for proportions; however, I tweaked the shit out of that recipe.

My tweaks:

1. Instead of APF, I used 1 cup barley flour and 3/4 cup of buckwheat flour, thinking I'd lower the glycemic index, but boost nutrtition (next time, I might augment with almond meal, too);
2. Instead of brown sugar, I used granulated maple sugar;
3. I soaked the chopped dates in the hot coffee overnight*;
4. In lieu of vodka, I used Galliano's coffee liqueur;
5. I only had about 1/2 cup of walnuts on hand--and rounded out the cup with pecans as I had some on hand;
6. In lieu of 4 T butter, I used 4 T macadamia nut oil (as I haven't used up my supply and figured this would be a good use for the oil.

*My intent was to blitz this with my immersion blender to form a slurry, and in the end, I got lazy and did not--I believe this affected the moisture content of the date nut bread, somewhat.

All ingredients were room temp and ready to go and mixed in order

Oven pre-heated according to recipe. And a bundt pan was spritzed with oil spray and dusted with flour and set aside.

Cheeseycakey bit which I messed up by accidentally adding an additional egg (next time I'll go with 2 eggs and 1 T of cake mix):

1 8 oz pkg Neufschatel 
6 T Splenda
1 tsp Vanilla
pinch salt
3 Eggs
2 T prepackaged vanilla or white cake mix 

Mix on high for 2 minutes until foamy and well blended.

I baked for 55 minutes; next time I'll shoot for 50 minutes. I let it rest on my counter for 10 minutes, then wrapped in cling wrap and put out on my balcony to cool off (here, the temps are hovering around 6F, so much colder than my fridge). I let it sit there for one hour before attempting to dislodge it from the pan.

The intent here was for a ribbon of cheesecake in the center, like those picture perfect old timey 1970s Bundt cakes. Unfortunately my ratio was off, and this ended up coming off more as a marbled cake.

Cheeseycake part was fine, and the date nut bread was somewhat less moist than what I consider the ideal date nut bread. My ideal date nut bread is very dense, so I might lower the baking powder next time by 1/2 tsp.

Result: Tasty, but next batch will definitely be a winner.

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