DATE and PECAN - Port coffee cake

Sweet November gifted dates wed pecans with a Porto splash celebration.
An inspiration from a contest winning magazine recipe.

For the longest time, not only have I become a cookbook collector of extensive proportions...
I've also hoarded countless recipes which patiently await my spatula.

Sadly, I usually find myself disappointed through forcing the issue of...
sorting and discarding what's not of interest anymore.
I know I'm not alone in this activity of excitement and good intent!?!

The usual "when in doubt...throw it out" suggestion unfortunately doesn't really apply in this case.
I'm really trying to respect the when and why I thought these recipes were pertinent in the first place.
 Many stages, life phases and professional avenues have brought on several detours, 
however, my heart is somewhat engraved loyally in the kitchen.
My passion for cooking and baking has remained the most steady throughout.
If a recipe doesn’t turn out just right the first time...
I can count on myself to make the proper tweaks so that I’m sublimely satisfied.
Really...how many times can you say that about anything else going on in your life?

Speaking of phases, here's one last serene November scene before...
winter hits us with her gentle snowflakes.

Way back in 1997, I had cut out a magazine clipping from the...
 'Better Homes and Garden' contest winners.
The “Sherried Date Coffee cake“ was apparently of Norwegian origins.  

After having made this cake, I realized that in order for me to enjoy it completely...
I certainly needed to add lighter tweaks without sacrificing taste and texture:
. I swapped out the Sherry cream (which I did not own) with Porto.  
. Replaced the sour cream with thick Greek style yogurt.
. The sweetness factor definitely needed to be adjusted down.
. The streusel got bumped up as well as prettying up the surface of the cake.  
. I left the glaze behind...no real need...however, I wrote it in if you feel inclined to try it out.

DATE and PECAN - PORT coffee cake
Norwegian style coffee cake
serves 8-10

(American measures)

Streusel -wet soak:
. 3/4 cup (about 18 small) dates, pitted, chopped
. 1/4 cup Port wine
Streusel -dry:
. 3/4 cup raw pecans 
. 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed 
. 1/8 cup granulated sugar 
. 2 tsps. ground cinnamon 
Cake batter:
. 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened 
. 1/8 cup vegetable oil (grapeseed oil preferred)
. 1/4 cup granulated sugar 
. 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed 
. 1 large egg 
. 1 cup plain yogurt (Greek style) 
. 1/8 cup Port wine
. 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
. 1 tsp. baking soda 
. 1 tsp. baking powder 
. 1 tsp. sea salt 

Streusel-wet soak:
1. In a deep, small bowl, combine chopped dates and the Port wine.  Cover it and let it stand for a minimum of 10 minutes.
2. In a small-medium bowl, combine all the dry streusel ingredients.  Set aside.
. Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
. Position rack in the center of the oven.
. Lightly grease an 8x8 inch cake dish (I used a glass Pyrex).
Cake batter:
1. In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and oil with the sugars.  Beat in the egg and then the yogurt and Port wine until smooth.
2. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Beat it only until all traces of flour have disappeared.  Scrape the batter from the edges with a spatula.
Meanwhile...mix the two parts of the streusel until completely coated with no dry traces.
3. Spread half the cake batter into the cake pan.  Top with half of the streusel and continue with the last layer of batter.  Top the surface with the remaining streusel.  Note: try placing the pecan halves in a decorative manner.
4. BAKE it for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out fairly dry.  Careful not to over-bake it.  Cool lightly before serving.
Porto Glaze (optional)
. 2 Tbsps. butter 
. 2 Tbsps. water 
. 1/4 cup granulated sugar 
. 2 Tbsps. Port wine
In a saucepan, combine the butter, water and sugar.  Cook on medium-high heat and stir until bubbly.   Reduce heat to simmer for about 5 minutes.  Remove it from the heat and immediately stir in the   Port wine. Drizzle the glaze over the cut servings. 

Before we start baking from our holiday cookie collections, I really hope you...
have a chance to dig into this scrumptious Norwegian influenced cake.

I'm curious...what recipe did you fish out of your recipe hoarding bag lately?

Have a sweet day and flavourful wishes,

Comments ... ??? ... or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at:  foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SWEET creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)
. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.
OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later. 

Here's another Date recipe I shared in the past...a real crowd pleaser.
- Italian stuffed DATES