- Medjool Dates 1 1⁄2 cups, pitted and coarsely chopped (about 8 ounces)
- Boiling Water 3⁄4 cup
- All-Purpose Flour 2 cups
- Baking Soda 1 tsp
- Baking Powder 1 tsp
- Pinch of Kosher Salt a pinch
- Eggs 2 large
- Vanilla Extract 1 tsp
- Unsalted Butter 8 Tbs (1 stick), melted
- Sugar 1 cup
- Pecans 1 cup, coarsely chopped
- Confectioners’ Sugar for dusting
- Place the dates in a small bowl and cover with the boiling water. Let sit for at least 15 minutes, until soft. Every once in a while, press the dates down into the water.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, with a rack in the middle. Butter and lightly flour a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Transfer the dates, with their soaking water, to a blender or food processor and pulse to a coarse puree. Add the eggs and vanilla and pulse to combine. Add the melted butter and sugar and pulse until well mixed. Add the pecans and blend to a smooth puree.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and scrape in the date mixture. Fold it into the flour with a silicone spatula until you have a thick batter. Scrape into the cake pan and smooth the top with an offset (or the silicone) spatula.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until the cake is browned and slightly crusty, with some cracks, on top. A toothpick inserted in the center of the cake should come out with moist but not wet crumbs. Cool completely in the pan on a rack.
- Run a knife around the edges of the cake pan, place a plate over the top, and turn the cake out onto the plate, then invert onto a serving platter (rounded side up). Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.
Excerpted from Pati Jinich Treasures of the Mexican Table: Classic Recipes, Local Secrets by Pati Jinich. (C) 2021 Reproduced by permission of Mariner Books. All rights reserved.
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