Date Roulade (Ma’amul for the Lazy)

Allow me to lament. I will not bewail the sh*tstorm that’s happened in the US, because I’m sure you’re getting enough of that from the media and from your social network, no, instead I am chanelling my negativity towards my stupid kitchen sink.
I had been cooking for three days straight for a dinner party and I somehow clogged up the kitchen sink. That led to blocked washing machine, leakage in downstairs bedroom, broken lights and also the cancellation of the dinner 30 minutes before guests were due to arrive. It is now day 4 since the fiasco began: I’ve got dirty plates stacked up on the kitchen counter, I’m running out of clothes, I’ve been eating the same damn leftovers for four consecutive days. On top of that my phone keeps freezing, a senior colleague told me to “not make so much noise with my spoon“, and popular parties are booming everywhere. It’s been a rough week.

I had made these date rolls for the dinner party. The recipe is directly from The Palomar Cookbook and as they describe it – “ma-amul for the lazy”.  They’re f*cking addictive.  It’s unbelievably good with the crumbly pastry and that sweet sticky date filling fragrant with cardamom – they’re why I haven’t broken down in tears this week yet, I’ve just been eating these to make myself feel better. Mind-blowingly good.
I’ve made these twice and the problem I had with this batch is that, as you can see, they’ve sort of fallen apart. When making the dough it’s important to have the butter VERY soft but not melted. This helps create a smoother dough. And seal the ends. I’ll be making these again soon. Well, depends on when my stupid kitchen sink gets fixed.

Recipe from The Palomar Cookbook
Makes 20-30
300g pitted dates, roughly chopped
45ml vegetable oil
45ml water
1 tsp ground cardamom

250g flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
30g sugar
90g very soft butter*
50ml vegetable oil
50ml milk**

*replace butter with margarine and milk with any non-dairy milk to turn this into a vegan treat

Preheat oven to 190C and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Make the filling by putting all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth.

Make the dough by mixing all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl until it becomes a soft dough.  No need to use an electric mixer.

Roll out the dough between two pieces of baking paper until it’s about 3mm thick.  Take off the top sheet of paper and spread the filling on to the dough.  Starting from the long side, roll the dough into a roulade, using the parchment paper to help you roll. Then lift the baking paper and separate the dough from it.  Roll the dough a little more to seal the seam underneath the roulade. Transfer to baking tray, score at 1.5cm intervals using a sharp knife, which will make it easier to cut the roulade after baking.

Bake for 30-40 min until golden. Leave to coo for 15 minute before cutting.

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