I would like to know why this is called Food of the Gods and more so, how it became to be popularly known as Filipino Food of the Gods. First of all, the main ingredient is dates. Dates are fruits of a variety of palm called date palm, is not grown in the Philippines. I have looked up some recipes and they mostly use walnuts and pecans, both of which are not grown in the Philippines, they are imported into the country and the cost is probably prohibitive to most Filipinos.
It so happened that we just came back this week from an 18-day visit to Manila. My younger sister whose husband works in Saudi Arabia happened to be visiting Manila as well. I requested her to bring some dates for me. So it is just right that I try to make this sweet.
Here’s my own version.
- 3 sticks of unsalted butter. The only liquid used on this dish is butter, I suggest to use a good brand.
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups chopped preserved dates
- 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
- 1 cup cashew nuts. We brought cashew nuts from Coron, Palawan, so it is just but fitting to use this.
- 2 cups self-rising flour
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 T bourbon vanilla. This is my homemade version where I have been soaking vanilla beans in a bottle of bourbon. Or use 1 T store-bought vanilla.
- Set the conventional oven at 350 degrees or convection oven to 325 degrees.
- Melt the 3 sticks of butter in the microwave using microwaveable bowl about 2 minutes. Cool.
- Using the butter wrapper, grease a square glass pan. I used a shallow square Corning dish.
- Chop the walnuts, cashews and dates. Put the dates-nuts mixture in a bowl, add 1/2 cup of flour and mix using hands making sure the dates are not sticking together.
- In a stand mixer, beat the eggs until foamy.
- Alternate the addition of 1/3 of the cooled butter, 1/3 of flour and 1/3 of sugar. Continue beating after each addition. Repeat 2 times.
- Add the vanilla
- Using the lowest mixer setting, fold the dates-nuts mixture into the batter.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick test comes out clean.
- Let it cool before attempting to cut. This is quite rich so cut in small pieces.
Share them with your friends or neighbors as I did and store the rest in a tightly covered jar in the refrigerator.