I had been wanting to make this recipe since I first saw it on 101 cookbooks a few weeks ago: a carrot cake-banana bread fusion, sweetened with nothing but dates and a little maple syrup. It was just as good as I imagined it would be. Here's how it goes:
2 c. whole wheat flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. sea salt
3/4 c. walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 c. dates, seeded and finely chopped*
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 c. carrots, grated (about 3 medium)
1/2 c. greek yogurt
6 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature**
3 Tbsp. maple syrup
*The original recipe calls for dried dates, but I used 8 fresh medjools, and it turned out great.
**I had 3 oz. of cream cheese on hand, so used marscapone for the remaining 3 oz.
Combine dry ingredients (flour through walnuts) and set aside. Stir together butter and dates in a small bowl, breaking up the dates as you stir. In a large bowl, mix together bananas, carrots, and yogurt. Add the butter and date mixture, stirring to combine. Whisk in the eggs. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Bake 50-60 minutes in an oiled, parchment paper lined loaf pan at 350 degrees (I used two small loaf pans and reduced the baking time to about 45 minutes). The cake is done when a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool. Whip cream cheese and maple syrup. Frost once cake is completely cool.