Karine Moulin's date and walnut cake

Image for Karine Moulin's date and walnut cake

To chefs, good ones anyway, seasonality and locality is everything, being in a place that gives you access to a plethora of fresh and seasonal ingredients. And that's no exception to Canadian expat pastry chef Karine Moulin, which is why you'll find her playing with a wider variety of ingredients--fresh citrus, almonds prickly pears, rambutan, and so on--now that she's in California, at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa.

Image for Karine Moulin's date and walnut cake

This is a date and walnut cake recipe that uses almond flour instead of regular all-purpose flour. Give it a try.

1 1/2 cups pitted dates, chopped
2/3 cup boiling water
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup melted butter
2 cups almond flour
1/4 cup date sugar
3 large eggs, organic preferred
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350F (180C).

Line a 9-inch loose bottom round tin with baking parchment paper and grease the sides with melted butter.

Melt the butter in a pot over a low heat.

Place chopped dates and boiling water in to a separate pot over a medium heat. Bring to a rolling boil. Add the baking soda, it will foam. Remove from the heat, and cool.

In a separate bowl, beat together eggs and date sugar.

Add melted butter to date and water mix. Stir to combine.

Place almond flour into a large bowl. Pour over date mixture and folding to combine; add in the eggs and date sugar and folding to combine.

Pour batter in to the prepared tin. Sprinkle over pecans and lightly press in to the batter. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes.  Check with a tooth pick. It's done when a tooth pick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Date caramel

1 cup full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup date sugar
1 tbsp melted butter
1 pinch salt

Add milk and date sugar to a pot over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously to ensure it doesn’t burn. Reduce heat to medium and cook out for 10 minutes. Add in melted butter; simmer for 2-3 minutes more and set aside to cool. It will thicken as it cools.

Gently poke the surface of the cake with cake tester or toothpick. Pour the caramel, spreading using a pastry brush until well coated, over the top and around the sides