Monday, August 9, 2010

Mmm, date & walnut loaf...

Ok, so I like to make cake sometimes - this is because I also like to eat cake!

Recently, I was invited to a party at a friend's home (and a very nice party too with good folks, good food and good beverages) and as everyone knows you can't turn up to these things empty handed. Of course beer and/or wine were options and I actually did take a few choice beers along (although it may have turned out that they were more to my personal taste as the dutch guys are quite happy with their Heineken staple rather than some hoppy American golden ale) but there was no way i would be feeding everyone there with beer and I knew there would be lots floating around anyway.

So, of course, the natural thing to do is bake a cake :)
Mmmm, barely lasted long enough to get a photo :)
And here's one of my favourites. Date and walnut loaf as per a recipe I got my mother to dictate to me over the phone. At the time I thought this was a recipe mum used to make when i was a kid. Turns out that it wasn't but it's great anyway and enough people have now asked me for the recipe to warrant my posting it here.

Here's what you need.

  • 8 oz chopped dates
  • 4 oz caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 oz margarine (cut into small cubes)
  • 6 fluid oz boiling water
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2 oz chopped walnuts
  • 8 oz self raising flour
And here's what you do.
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Farenheit
  2. Grease a 2 lb loaf tin and line the bottom with baking paper
  3. Add the dates, sugar, salt, bicarbonate of soda and margarine to a large mixing bowl
  4. Boil the water and pour over the mixture
  5. Mix well to melt the margarine
  6. Allow mixture to cool
  7. Add the egg, walnuts and flour to the mixture
  8. Mix to a smooth batter (no need to use a mixer, a few turns with a spatula will do the job very quickly)
  9. Pour into the greased and lined tin
  10. Bake in the centre of the oven for around 1 1/4 hours until firm
  11. Cool in the tin for 15 minutes
Once turned out and cooled, store in an airtight container and over time it will get more moist and delicious (although, admittedly, it doesn't last more than a few days with me). I like to eat mine in slices spread with butter :)


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