1. Maida (All purpose flour) - 200 gms
2. Sugar - 200 gms
3. Unsalted butter - 200 gms
4. Eggs - 4
5. Baking powder - 1 tsp
6. Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
7. Crushed walnuts - 1/2 cup
8. Dates - small pieces 1/2 cup
9. Cocoa powder - 4 tsp
1. Mix 1/4th tsp of bakind soda with the dates and let it rest. This helps maintain the colour.
2. Mix maida, baking powder and remaining baking soda using a thin wired sieve. Pass through the sieve 3-4 times to mix it well
3. Mix the cocoa powder in it. The amount of cocoa powder can be adjusted based on amount of chocolate flavour you want. 4 tsp gives just enough chocolate flavour.
4. Beat butter in a glass bowl till fluffy. It's a lot of effort, but then you do get mechanical egg beaters that make it slightly easy for you.
5. Start adding one egg at a time and continue beating it. The other option is to beat the eggs separately in a blender and mix with the butter and again beat it for sometime.
6. Grind the sugar to a powder in a grinder and add to the egg and butter mix and beat it again. Remember, you have to beat it till it's fluffy. If you overdo it, it will become slightly lumpy.
7. At this point, start pre-heating the oven to 200C
8. Apply butter to the sides and bottom of the baking pan and dust it with some maida.
9. Put the dates and walnuts into the batter and mix well.
10. Now put the maida/baking powder mix in batter and fold it in slowly. DO NOT beat it. Just move a wooden spatula in a clockwise or anti clockwise direction in the bowl to mix it slowly. Do not change direction midway. Fold the mixture in this way slowly so as not to release the air that has already built up inside the batter.
11. Pour the batter in the baking pan upto slightly more than half the height.
12. Keep it in the oven at 200C for 5 min.
13. Change the temperature to 180C and bake it for another 35-40 min.
14. Once the timer goes off, take out the pan and insert a knife into the cake. If the cake sticks to the knife blade, keep it inside for another few minutes.
15. Once done, take out and put on a reverse wire mesh in order to air it.