In this version of the classic English dessert, adapted from one in Rose Levy Beranbaum's Rose's Heavenly Cakes (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009), dates are soaked in stout beer and then pureed, resulting in a super-moist crumb. Eilon Paz
Once reserved for royalty, dates come in countless varieties, from rich, sugary Medjool to nutty, drier Thoory. And their uses are equally varied: Fill them with cheese, mash them into a paste to sweeten baked goods, or fold them into a savory quiche—however you choose to incorporate the “fruit of life” into your food, that dish will be a bit more luxurious for it.
The edible fruit of the date palm tree, dates have been cultivated since around 6,000 B.C., making them one of the world’s oldest fruits; so, we’ve had quite a bit of time to figure out what to do with them. Sticky and sweet, they make an obvious appearance in many desserts (and are an excellent way to sweeten foods naturally), but they also pair well with savory foods, such as spiced rice and fried potatoes. Roast them, stuff them into buttery shortbread, blend them with vanilla ice cream, or wrap them in bacon—whatever you do, just remember to remove the pit.