I have a harvest of walnuts and pecans in the cupboard. Don’t ask me why, I suppose I just kept buying them for some reason. Some I have used some to make granola, and now I decided to bake a loaf cake. I just wanted something to remind me of walking to work when I lived in the US: a lovely, sweet, cinnamon fragrance I recall wafting around (along with the smell of fresh coffee) and this cake does exactly that. It has a sweetness to it, holds its place but retains a moisture. It tastes even better on day two and will keep fresh in a cake tin for some time – if it lasts that long. I bake it in a loaf tin (hence the name) but it is really a cake – and a lovely cake at that.
- 1 cup (225gms) chopped dates
- 1 cup (275mls) boiling water
- 1 cup packed (225g) brown sugar (I use the darkest you can find)
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups (230g) plain (all purpose) flour
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (or more if you prefer)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (225gms) chopped walnuts
- 1 cup (225gms) chopped pecans
Preheat oven to fan 160°C, conventional 180°C, gas 4. Butter the inside of a 1lb loaf tin.
- Chopped dates into a bowl, add the hot water and bicarbonate of soda, leave to cool.
- Butter and sugar into a large bowl, cream them together, add the egg and whisk until light and fluffy. Fold in the vanilla extract.
- Sift in the flour. Fold together. Add the Cinnamon and salt – fold together.
- Add the pecans, walnuts, dates and liquid and combine the lot. Then pour and level into the loaf tin.
- Bake for an hour, testing after 45 minutes. Remove when cooked and allow to cool before turning out of the tin. Eat as a cake, or with Ice Cream.