Date and Walnut Loaf
A low-fat cake is perfect for spreading with a thick layer of butter when you serve it. I like my fruit and nuts chunky, so I use big pieces of walnut and whole dry dates (not those soft expensive ones). If you don’t have don’t have dark brown sugar, use a little treacle, molasses or golden syrup in the mix to add some depth.
|My little helper and all the ingredients|
150g (~1C) dark brown sugar
generous pinch of salt
250g (~1 ½C) pitted dates
1 tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg, lightly beaten
300g (2C) self-raising flour (or 2 C plain flour + 4 tsp baking powder)
100g walnut pieces
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a loaf tin or two log-style tins or similar.
Put butter, sugar, water, salt and dates in a decent sized saucepan and bring to the boil. Be careful with the size of the saucepan because when you add the bicarb it can froth up to more than double its volume. Remove from the heat and immediately add the bicarb and stir. Allow the date mixture to cool until about body temperature, then fold in the vanilla, egg, flour and walnuts and tip into tin.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean, reducing the temperature if its dark on the outside and not yet cooked inside. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature with butter for spreading.