Ishtar's Love Potion:
Rosewater Scented Spicy Date Cake
For Valentine's Day, do the overworked Cupids a favor and make this cake. Even more potent than their arrows!
|The Assyrian Ishtar|
|Inanna holding dates|
To the ancient Mesopotamians, the date palm and its fruit were important products economically. The dates were valued for their great nutritional value, and it made sense to associate them with Ishtar and her beloved husband, and to believe that they were highly Aphrodisiac. In fact, we still believe so. Grooms, for instance, are advised to eat one pound of dates on the day of their wedding.
|Woman, Goddess, and Date Palm|
The ancient Mesopotamians knew how to make cakes. Some surviving cuneiform texts even give the proportions for cakes with fruits, including dates, to go to the temple and the palace. So I believe goddess Ishtar must have eaten a lot of such cakes.
This scrumptious cake is in honor of the 'Lady of the Dates' Ishtar, who definitely knew quite well what dates can do.
Here is how to make it:
For the cake:
2 ounces pecan or walnut halves, lightly toasted
1. Put dates and tea in a small pot. Bring to a quick boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes, or until dates soften (but not mushy). Drain the dates, but reserve the drained liquid. Let them cool off to room temperature. Cut the drained dates into small pieces, and add enough cold water to liquid to make it measure ⅔ cup.
4. In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, 1/4 cup heavy cream, and butter. Bring to a boil, on medium heat, stirring to allow sugar to dissolve. Boil gently for about 4 minutes. Let it cool off completely. Stir in 1/2 cup powdered sugar and vanilla, until smooth. It should be neither too thick nor runny in consistency. Use immediately.