You bake this as a cake, then cool and cut into wedges that hold up beautifully packed into a lunch box for something that is dessert-like but wholly nutritious.
The individual wedges freeze well, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and then packed into a heavy-gauge zip-style bag. Pull them out one at a time and pack into a lunch box, still frozen. They will defrost perfectly.
Separate the eggs while still cold, placing both and whites in a medium-sized bowls. Cover each tightly with plastic wrap while they warm to room temperature. You can use gluten free flour too.
- Nonstick spray for the pan
- 3 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour or whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup minced California walnuts
- 1 cup chopped, pitted dates
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, and generously coat a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick spray.
- Beat the egg whites with a hand-held electric mixer at high speed until they form soft peaks. Set aside.
- Add the sugar to the yolks in the other bowl, and without cleaning the beaters, beat the yolks and sugar at medium speed for about a minute, or until smooth and thick.
- Use a rubber spatula to stir the flour, salt, walnuts, and dates (which you might have to break up a bit with your hands) into the yolk mixture, folding and mixing until uniform.
- Dump 1/3 of the beaten whites on top and mix them in. Gently fold in the remaining 2/3 until mostly distributed. They will deflate a little, and it doesn't need to be uniform – just reasonably incorporated.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the sides of the cake pull away from the pan, and the surface of the cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool completely before unmolding and slicing into wedges.