Do you know Mr. Stress? That little guy who messes around with your head? Makes you forget things and appointments, makes you anxious, and well, drives you crazy. When I walk along the city streets and look around I notice that Mr. Stress has invited himself into many heads. Short tempers, nervous tapping with feets, checking the smartphone every 30 seconds, where's that damn to-do list!?!, and I wonder what my credit limit is?
Relax, everyone. Please. I may not be the best one to tell people to relax as I often am the one finding herself under massive pressure. Need to do this, need to remember that. Oh, I don't have my planner with me so basically I'm screwed.
But hey, isn't Christmas supposed to be a time to relax and find your inner peace? I don't think Mr. Stress should be a part of it.
So let's calm down. Breathe. Take a cup of tea (or coffee). Eat that cookie. Listen to good music. And if you feel like it make this bundt cake.
Date Bundt Cake with Whiskey
makes one regular bundt cake or two small ones
slightly adapted from Juhana Paturi, AL 05.12.2013
This is a slightly more modern version of the traditional Finnish Christmas treat. A date bunt cake can be found in almost any Finnish family during the Christmas holidays. It's served with mulled wine or a cup of strong coffee. It has to be made in advance so its flavors develop properly. Therefore, it's the ideal no-stress cake. The cake is at its best after one week but can easily be stored for longer.
200 g (7 oz) fresh dates, pitted & quartered
50 g (2 oz) raisins
150 g (5.3 oz) salted butter, at room temperature
2 dl (175 g; 0.8 cups; 6.2 oz) granulated sugar
1 dl (90 g; 0.4 cups; 3.2 oz) packed brown sugar (farinsocker)
3 eggs (M)
2,5 dl (170 g; 1 cup; 6 oz) almonds, finely chopped
4,5 dl (270 g; 1.9 cups; 9.5 oz) all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla sugar (I always use homemade)
2 tsp baking powder
2 dl (0.8 cups) heavy cream
powdered sugar, for decorating
In a small bowl, soak the dates and raisins in whiskey for at least 6 hours or overnight. Make sure that they are fully covered by the whiskey.
Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F). Grease and flour the bundt cake pan(s).
In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Set aside. Drain the soaked dates and raisins, reserving the soaking whiskey for later. Set both aside.
In a bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Stir in about half of the dry ingredients. Then stir in the remaining dry ingredients alternating with the cream. Add the soaked dates and raisins.
Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan(s). Bake on the middle oven rack for 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for a few minutes before releasing.
Measure your soaking whiskey. You should end up with 1 dl (0.4 cups) of it. Add hot honey water if needed. I added 0,25 dl hot water with 1 tsp honey.
Pour the whiskey over the still warm cake(s).
Let the cake(s) cool down before wrapping them in aluminium foil. Store in a cool place ideally for at least one week.
Before serving, dust with powdered sugar.