Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Date and Tahini Slice

The randomly chosen letter for this month's AlphaBakes is T, although it's not that random, as we are nearing the end of the alphabet again, and T was one of only two letters left on this run-through. It's another strange letter when it comes to ingredients, as initial thoughts are that T must be easy, but then you look through recipe books to find that there aren't that many baking ingredients, or recipe names, beginning with T. Some of my books didn't have anything at all listed under T in the index, and others only had 'Triple....' or 'Toasted....' or similar descriptive words. Treacle cropped up quite a lot too, but I wasn't in the mood for anything too dark and sticky.

In the end, I decided to use Tahini, but it took me ages to find something that I really wanted to make, once I'd made that decision. I looked at cakes, cookies and flapjacks before I remembered that good old Australian word - slice - and came across this recipe, which seemed to use a good mix of  fruit and spices. It looked fairly healthy too - no added fat - until I read the nutritional information on the jar of tahini, and realised that sesame seeds contain nearly 60% fat, so using 185mls of tahini adds about 100g of fat to the recipe!

It's a simple recipe to follow, especially as metric weights are give alongside the cup measurements, but my cake batter was more like a cookie dough. I'm not sure whether this is down to different brands of ingredients being used, as well as desiccated coconut instead of shredded, or a fault in the recipe. I added a couple of tablespoons of milk, but it didn't make things much better. I gave the slice an extra 5 minutes baking time, to colour the coconut slightly, and be sure it was cooked through - a test at 20 minutes still looked a little damp.

The slice was pleasant to eat, and the flavours of dates, coconut and sesame seeds blended together well, but the amount of ground ginger used was hardly noticeable! The slice was more like a cookie in texture, but that made it a bit too dry for it's depth. Unfortunately, this wasn't something I'll be rushing to make again, although it might have worked better as a bar cookie, cooked in a larger baking tin, or even chilled and rolled into balls of dough to make conventional cookies.

AlphaBakes is co-hosted by Ros, at The More Than Occasional Baker and Caroline at Caroline Makes, who is this month's host. The basic idea is to use the chosen letter as the first letter of a major ingredient or part of the name of the dish which is made eg T is for Tiger Bread, or in my case, T is for Tahini. Full rules can be found here.

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