Sticky Chocolate Date Loaf–#WeCare

by cakeduchess on November 8, 2012 · 29 comments

I’ve never kept track of all the hurricanes and storms I’ve been through in Florida. I’d like to consider myself an expert with all the storm tracking and terminology. I know exactly what supplies to buy and we have a plan for when it’s our time to evacuate.

These are things you have to be ready for living in this part of the East coast. My mother-in-law always calls from Italy as soon as she sees a hurricane in America. It could even be on the completely opposite coast and she’ll call to check and make sure we are all safe.

When Hurricane Sandy passed our way a few weeks ago, we were prepared. The kids were off of school for a day and half. Our beaches suffered damage and luckily this time we were left mostly unscathed. The winds were still kicking here as it made it’s way up towards the North East. It was predicted to be bad and I have to say, I’ve never seen damage here as I’ve seen what happened up north from Sandy.
People need our help immediately. A day after the storm, I posted photos from our recent trip to NYC and some wonderful links to help those in need. As the days passed, I saw on TV and online the tragic images of destruction. Some families had flooding damage and some families sadly lost all they had. My heart felt heavy with sadness as I wished I were closer to help those in need. Other blogging friends also felt compelled to try to find a way to spread the message of giving something to those in need from Sandy.


Today we are spreading the message online to reach out in any way you can. The badge links directly to the The Red Cross so you can make your donation. Donating to The Red Cross has an immediate impact on the victims. I encourage you to donate there or consider another way from my post last week. Encourage others to help out as well. 
Some other ways to help:
Throughout the whole month of November, Macy’s is accepting donations at all store registers. They will match every dollar with a dollar an effort to exceed one million dollars.
My daughter brought home a flyer from school today asking families to donate winter clothes. Her school will be sending them to an elementary/middle school in Belmar, New Jersey. The school is still being used as a Red Cross shelter for displaced families. The students are expected to finally return to school on November 12th. You can encourage your school to donate winter clothes to a school with children in need affected by Sandy.
I am keeping everyone in my thoughts and prayers and appreciate everyone that wants to help those in need.

Today I wanted to share a recipe that brings comfort to my family. It’s a sticky date loaf filled with wonderful spice and rich chocolate. I make it almost every week and sometimes make them as a muffin.fe37ce22130f11e2bf2722000a1fbc66_7
I am keeping everyone in my thoughts and prayers and appreciate everyone that wants to help those in need. 
A little about the sticky chocolate date loaf: Dates are naturally sweet and I cut much of the sugar that was in the original recipe. I adapted the recipe from this site. I also made this recipe vegan. It’s so moist from the banana and dates, the eggs are not missed at all. A little whole wheat flour also makes the cake a bit more healthy. You could make the cake entirely with whole wheat or with white flour…however you prefer. Just make it and share a slice with a hot cup of tea and someone you love.

Sticky Chocolate Date Loaf
30 pitted dates, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon molasses
1 ripe banana, mashed
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (to stir in the batter right before baking)

Preheat oven at 350 F and line a loaf pan with parchment or non stick baking paper. (or you can make them
in muffin tins)

In a small pan, combine dates and water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 3 minutes or until dates are soft and liquid has reduced. Lower the heat and stir in baking soda. Stir well once the mixture foams up; set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In another large mixing bowl, whisk the oil, sugar, molasses, banana, and vanilla until fluffy. Stir in the cooled melted chocolate.

Gently fold in half the flour mixture then fold in all the date mixture. Gently fold in the remaining flour and the rest of the chocolate chips.

Transfer batter to tin and tilt tin gently from side to side to level batter. Bake for 1 hour or until a fine skewer comes out almost clean from centre of loaf and loaf begins to pull away from the sides of tin.
Remove from oven and turn loaf out onto a cooling rack. Enjoy!


Spread the word on how to help through The American Red Cross with this badge:

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristina @ spabettie November 8, 2012 at 3:10 pm

I simply cannot imagine – the stories I am hearing are breaking my heart! I hope our #WeCare reach is far and wide!

on a sweet note, I will be making this cake…


Lizzy Do November 8, 2012 at 3:14 pm

I know you know of hurricanes first hand…I’ve only seen the devastation on TV. You’ve created such a delicious, comfort loaf to offer support to the Sandy victims…and I’m thrilled to be spreading the word with you today. xo


Jeanette November 8, 2012 at 3:51 pm

It is incredible what the force of nature can do – what a wonderful thing you are doing to help those who suffered losses recently.


Jenn November 8, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Lora I love how generous and caring the food blogging community is – I did not know about Macy’s accepting donations, that is great to hear – and this date loaf sounds wonderful! I’m not sure if you have heard, but there is another food blogging event going on today as well to encourage donations for Hurricane Sandy relief – wouldn’t it be great if we all joined together to form an even larger movement to garner support for hurricane victims? Feel free to link up your post to Food Bloggers Support for Sandy to help get the word out and share your post.


Faith November 8, 2012 at 9:09 pm

It really is so heartbreaking to think about what people are going through. I’m hoping we make a huge difference.

Your loaf is gorgeous, Lora!


Paula @ Vintage Kitchen November 8, 2012 at 9:25 pm

There´s never enough to be done for those who lost everything. I´m glad you´re all ok Lora and this is the perfect way to spread the word. And that date bread is absolutely amazing!


Chef Dennis November 8, 2012 at 9:27 pm

Great job with your sticky chocolate date loaf, it looks delicious! Thanks for all you did to bring this event together, and for keeping it about the victims.


Laura (Tutti Dolci) November 9, 2012 at 3:29 am

What a delicious loaf cake for a wonderful cause!


everydaymaven November 9, 2012 at 6:25 am

Great loaf – I am bookmarking to make for my son. Thanks for such a meaningful post about the tragedy.


Maureen November 9, 2012 at 8:50 am

Some buttery caramel sauce on the side and I’d move in. :)

If we all gave just $10 we could help everyone.


Savory Simple November 9, 2012 at 2:28 pm

What a lovely loaf cake. The outpouring of support from bloggers has been wonderful. Many of my relatives experienced the wrath of the storm and I know this means so much to them.


Munatycooking November 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm

We can’t stop the storms but we can help each other and pray!

Thanks for the recipe I used to make this cake long time ago, but lost the recipe. God Bless all!


Kate@Diethood November 9, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Beautiful post, my friend!! So glad we all came together to help out those in need.
As always, beautiful cake! xo


Jamie November 10, 2012 at 8:53 am

You know I grew up with Florida hurricanes as well and it taught us the power of nature and that we should respect it with awe. And at times like this, comfort food is such a necessity! This cake reminds me of the date nut bread my mom always ate (she bought it and kept it to herself!!) but I love your with chocolate added so much more!


lisamichele November 10, 2012 at 9:17 am

I used to gorge on this sticky, dark date nut loaf from a long gone bakery in the town I grew up in. To this day, I’ve yet to taste one even close to it. What was their secret? Seeing your beautiful and delicious looking Sticky Chocolate Walnut Date Loaf makes me wonder if it was chocolate?? Regardless, this is a perfect comfort food for a wonderful cause. You know all of my details, so I won’t write a novel xoxo


Paula November 10, 2012 at 9:36 pm

What a lovely post and a lovely looking loaf. I’m so encouraged by all the wonderful outreach on-line that is happening for all those in need of help recovering from Hurricane Sandy.


Valerie November 11, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I’m glad to hear that you and your family are made it through the storm! Sending only positive thoughts and energy to everyone impacted by Sandy. (Thanks for the aid links!)

Your chocolate date loaf looks splendid!


Magic of Spice November 11, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Happy to hear that you are safe and experienced minimal damage in your area. Thank you for this post and helping to spread the word, such a frighting thing and seems that even with warning the destruction can be so devastating.

Your cake looks wonderful and like a serious comfort treat!


Shulie Foodwanderings November 12, 2012 at 12:33 am

Love this cause Lora. Poor souls especially now as the Holidays are approaching. Such a heartbreak! :( So happy to be a part of this effort. Love your rich date bread.


Lisa {Authentic Suburban Gourmet } November 12, 2012 at 3:15 am

What a great event you are particating in! Glad that you and your family are okay. It is heart wrenching to hear about all of the destruction back east. This chocolate date loaf looks and sounds amazing!!!!

Reply November 12, 2012 at 3:25 am

Nice and comforting bread in such a sad situation. I have to worry about tornadoes where we live and it’s not much fun either. I’m always glad to see us food bloggers get involved for causes close to our hearts.


Jen Laceda | Tartine and Apron Strings November 12, 2012 at 5:14 am

Can I use Medjool dates for this recipe? I’m sure the hurricane victims are wanting a taste of home right now. To lose everything you possess is a tragedy, but as long as you don’t lose your spirit…This is the time for action, so I’ll help spread the word!


everydaycook November 12, 2012 at 11:25 am

I hope you don’t mind that I have posted your recipe on my blog. I have credited you with it and linked your blog.
Thank you


Jessica @ Portuguese Girl Cooks November 12, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Glad to know you and your family are safe. I think it’s wonderful what you are going to help others! Your bread looks great!


Ana Cooks November 12, 2012 at 2:41 pm

More than your wonderful recipes, i’m even more in love with your shots. Great photography!
Thanks for the inspiration!


Patty November 12, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Hurricanes scare me! We have earthquakes here(and those scare me too!)
I like that you’ve made your bread vegan-I’m sure it’s delicious;-)


Averie @ Averie Cooks November 12, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Awesome post and awesome loaf. I am posting a chocolate date cake tomorrow! I want to try yours!


Bunkycooks November 12, 2012 at 11:10 pm

Thanks for the information on how to donate to the victims of Sandy. It truly was heartbreaking to see all of the devastation. BTW, all of your baked goods look so wonderful. I wish I had young ones that could help us eat them if I made them here. However, we don’t and would eat them all ourselves, so I don’t bake often.


Kathy Shea Mormino November 22, 2012 at 3:20 pm

I’d like to invite you to join me at the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week!

I hope to see you there!
Kathy Shea Mormino
The Chicken Chick


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