You can now definitely tell it’s almost winter. We set the clock back an hour on the weekend, and although this does mean I got an extra hours sleep (yesss) it also means it’s freakin dark by 5 o’clock. My friend was quite amused by my depressed acknowledgement of this fact, as we set off to walk to the bus stop today. The upside: Dark times, call for dark foods.
This date and walnut loaf is easily mixed by hand and baked until a deep amber, crispy, crunchy crust has formed and a hint of golden batter is seen peeking through the cracked top.
It doesn’t rise much, its a dense loaf packed with sticky dates and crunchy walnuts scented with plenty of vanilla extract and brown sugar.
It’s delicious, especially if you try it my fave way; the sweetness balanced with a light swipe of cream cheese, along side a steaming hot cup of tea.
Date and Walnut Loaf Recipe
- 250 g (1 cup) pitted, chopped dates (weighed without their pits)
- 250 ml (1 cup) boiling water
- 150 g (3/4 cup) light brown sugar
- 3 medium eggs
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tsps vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp fine table salt
- 180 g (1 ½ cups) plain white flour (see notes if you want to use self-raising flour)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 150 g (1 scant cup) chopped walnuts (0.5 cup 3 – 6 oz) chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F ) and grease a standard (2lb) loaf pan.
- Pour the boiling water over the dates in a small bowl, set aside to soak and cool to lukewarm.250 g (1 cup) pitted, chopped dates, 250 ml (1 cup) boiling water
- In a large bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla and salt, stirring until smooth.150 g (3/4 cup) light brown sugar, 3 medium eggs, 3 tbsp vegetable oil, 2 tsps vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp fine table salt
- Add the cooled soaked dates (and their soaking liquid) and mix in.
- Add the flour, baking powder and walnuts then stir until no floury patches remain. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf tin.180 g (1 ½ cups) plain white flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 150 g (1 scant cup) chopped walnuts
- Bake for 50-70 minutes or until very dark brown and when a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean and dry. If the top is browning too much before the loaf is cooked through, cover the top with a piece of foil.
- Leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the loaf tin.