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Cakes

Date Cake with Bacon and Pecans

Date Cake with Bacon and Pecans

Notes:
To toast the nuts: arrange pecans in single layer on baking sheet. Bake in center rack in preheated 350°F oven until fragrant and golden, 7 to 10 minutes, shaking pan halfway through baking to redistribute pecans. Transfer baking sheet to cooling rack and cool pecans completely before chopping.

Date Cake with Bacon and Pecans

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About This Recipe

Yield:8 to 10
Active time:1 hour
Total time:2 hours, 30 minutes
Special equipment:2 rimmed baking sheets, 2 cooling racks, foil, tongs, 9-inch round cake pan, parchment paper, small saucepan, food processor, electric mixer, rubber spatula, large heavy-bottomed saucepan
This recipe appears in: Let Them Eat: Date Cake with Candied Bacon and Pecans

Ingredients

  • For the Bacon:
  • 8 strips thick-cut bacon
  • 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  •  
  • For the Cake:
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces pitted Medjool dates
  • 1 cup bourbon or dark rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted pecans, coarsely chopped (See Notes)
  •  
  • For the Glaze:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon or dark rum
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup or molasses (optional
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Procedures

  1. 1

    For the Bacon: Set a cooling rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. 2

    Line a second rimmed baking sheet with foil. Arrange bacon strips in single layer. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and pepper in small bowl. Rub sugar mixture all over bacon strips and bake until crisp, 16 to 20 minutes, turning bacon strips with tongs halfway through baking.

  3. 3

    Transfer bacon strips to prepared cooling rack and cool completely, about 15 minutes. Once cooled, coarsely chop.

  4. 4

    Decrease oven temperature to 350°F.

  5. 5

    For the Cake: Grease 9-inch round cake pan with 1 tablespoon butter. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper round and grease parchment with butter.

  6. 6

    Bring dates and bourbon or rum to boil over medium-high heat in small saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until liquid is slightly reduced and dates are plump, about 10 minutes. Stir in baking soda and vanilla. Set aside.

  7. 7

    Bring dates and bourbon or rum to boil over medium-high heat in small saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until liquid is slightly reduced and dates are plump, about 10 minutes. Stir in baking soda and vanilla. Set aside.

  8. 8

    In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, and cinnamon. Set aside.

  9. 9

    Pulse dates and cooking liquid in food processor until ground to a paste.

  10. 10

    In large bowl, beat remaining 6 tablespoons butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

  11. 11

    Decrease mixer speed to low and add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with date paste. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Increase speed to medium and beat mixture just until combined, 20 to 30 seconds. Add half of the chopped bacon and half of pecans and beat just to combine, about 20 seconds.

  12. 12

    Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted in center of cake, about 30 minutes, rotating cake halfway through baking. Transfer to cooling rack and cool in pan 10 minutes. Invert cake directly onto cooling rack and cool about 30 minutes.

  13. 13

    For the Glaze: While the cake is cooling, bring cream, brown sugar, (optional) syrup or molasses, and salt to boil over medium-high heat. Decrease heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce is thickened, 5 to 10 minutes.

  14. 14

    Transfer cake to serving dish. Pour sauce over cake and sprinkle with remaining pecans and bacon.

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