Sunday, December 07, 2014

Date and Walnut Loaf

A dense fruity date and walnut loaf.

Perfect as a less-sweet alternative to biscuits or cake. You could even have a slice as a quick breakfast if you've not got time to grab anything else.

In fact it's so popular that someone managed to scarf down half the loaf before I got round to photographing it!

  • 12oz stoned dates - I usually use a block of cooking dates.
  • 1pt hot water
  • 11oz plain flour - preferably wholemeal, but white is fine too.
  • 1oz malted drink powder - e.g. Ovaltine or Horlicks, but NOT the artificially sweetened versions. Not all artificial sweeteners are heat-stable.
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • 6tsp baking powder
  • 6oz walnuts, coarsely chopped. - If you get walnut pieces, they are about the right size already.
  • 2tsp vanilla essence

Preheat the oven to 180C.
Line a 2lb loaf tin (or 2x 1lb loaf tins).
Chop the dates up and combine with the water in a saucepan.
Simmer the date mixture over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until the dates soften and become a goopy date mush. - If it still has some date lumps in at this point, then that's all to the good and will add some texture to the loaf.
Take the date mixture off the heat and let it cool a bit.
Weigh out the flour, malt powder, cinnamon and baking powder and sift together into a mixing bowl.
Stir the walnut pieces through the flour mixture.
Add the vanilla essence to the date mixture, then stir the date mixture quickly but thoroughly into the flour.
Spoon the cake batter into the lined tin(s).
Bake for just over an hour until the loaf is browned on top, and not sticky inside when tested with a skewer.
Turn out of the tin and let cool.
Serve sliced and spread with butter.

Categories: dates walnuts tea bread British