I first saw these on Tori Haschka’s blog, and loved the idea of having them as a quick breakfast snack. I like dates very much, and bakes made with them always appeal to the Sweet But Not Too Sweet tooth I have. Sweet potato as a baking ingredient has won me over since Gizzi Erskine made sweet potato and Turkish Delight brownies, way back when, so that was another must. Because it’s me, I fiddle. I can’t help it. This time, I have fiddled more.
I had excess dates, so I used more than the original recipe stated. Then it turned out I had too much sweet potato left over, and the tail end of a bag of oats, so…yes, you can see where this went.
(By the way, I bought my dates from this website. It’s on during Ramadan, and they get couriered to you, you have a choice of gorgeous tins, and each box of juicy goodness sold helps someone gets their sight back, or gets bread given to a family and so on. Well worth signing up so you can a heads-up when the deliveries are back on.)
165 g pitted dates
250 g mashed sweet potato (Peel and cut the sweet potato into pieces the size of playing dice. Microwave with 3 tbsp of water for 5-6 minutes until soft, then puree, or mash until smooth. Or else, make a bigger batch, use it as a base for sweet potato hummus/ sweet potato mash to have with steak or lamb and use the leftovers to make these.)
4 eggs or 12 tbs aquafaba
4 tbsp tahini (plus 2 tbs thinned down for the top or use any nut butter)
180 g porridge oats
4 tbs sultanas
2 tbs cocoa
1 tsp orange blossom water for the cake mix
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ras El Hanout
1/2 cup/ 30 g shredded coconut
generous pinch of sea salt
3 tbs tahini or nut butter thinned down with 1/2 tsp orange blossom water and 1/2 tsp sugar. (OBW can be a touch bitter)
1 tbs water to get the tahini or nut butter to a smoother, more runny consistency.
I used roasted sweet potatoes. I just cook them whole in their skins for around 45 minutes, so that a knife or skewer goes through with no resistance, then let them cool.
I do all of this in a food processor, and get a smooth texture that I like. I’m not a fan of whole oats in cookies or cakes. (It is also much easier on my hands to use the machine.)
Put the dates into the food processor bowl, and blend for a couple of minutes to chop them up.
Add in the aquafaba, tahini or nut butter, oats, potato, cocoa, orange blossom water, sultanas, coconut, cinnamon, sea salt and Ras El Hanout. Blitz until smooth.
You may need to scrape the sides down as desiccated coconut seems to fly about.
For the topping – if you want to use one – mix the extra 3 tbs of tahini or nut butter with 1/2 tsp orange blossom water and the sugar. Stir in warm water until it becomes a dropping consistency, or you won’t get it to drizzle on to the cake.
Line a 9.5” x 9.5”x 2” (24cm square) cake tin with baking paper. Date mixes can be very sticky.
Scrape all the mixture into the pan, and then smooth the top with the back of a wet spoon.
Drizzle the tahini over, and top with sesame seeds or coconut curls, whatever you like. I had crystallised rode petals, so added those as well for crunch.
Bake for 35 minutes at 170C fan and then leave to cool. They will turn more fudgy and dense overnight.