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Spicy Date & Walnut Loaf

This is a long time favourite in my family and a great, much healthier alternative to ‘banana bread/cake’, but I will warn you, make 2 loaves as it goes very quickly. This version is not super sweet like some store bought varieties so you can take it for breakfast morning tea, afternoon tea or something to finish off dinner, and for that reason it does not last in my house.

I also add spices to the mixture which you do not have to do, like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, as I love this combination. We can see a similar combination of spices and fruit and nuts in Moroccan foods such as the spice mix ras el hanuot which contains cinnamon and nutmeg, and many tagines that use ras el hanout have prunes and almonds, so although this is just a basic loaf which has chucked a few ingredients together, it could be a mix that can be translated also into many other moroccon dishes. You could substitute the flour for pastry, add almond meal and make a phyllo snail roll with nuts, dates and spices, which would be a variant on their almond and cinnamon phyllo roll.


Anyways back to this loaf. It really is not a hard loaf to make, it just takes a bit of time to prepare and cook, but the only way to fast track this is to make the loaf in a very small tin so it cooks quicker, but noone will prefer a small slice to a large thick slice!

Spicy Date & Walnut Loaf

250g dates, chopped

1 tbsp bi-carb soda

1.5 cups boiling water

100g butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp cinnamon

3/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cloves

1 cup plain flour

1 cup self raising flour

200g walnuts, roasted

1. Put the dates, bi-carb and boiling water in a bowl and leave it stand for 15 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C

3. Cream butter and sugar then add eggs and mix until smooth. Add spices then remove from mix master.

4. Add flours, walnut and date mixutre to the butter mixutre and stir until just combined. DO NOT over stir otherwise it will not be light and fluffy but dense and hard.

5. Cook for 1 hour 20 mins or until cooked through. (I usually have to cover the top with alfoil after 40 minutes to avoid the top burning as I want the inside to cook, even in my weird fan forced oven)

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12 responses

  1. that sounds like a great combination… will have to try it out

    October 23, 2011 at 8:21 am

    • Thanks! There are so many things you can substitute like dried figs, prunes or apricots, but the key is to soak them in the bi-carb so they soften and flavour the water which just adds a richer flavour through the loaf rather than just throwing the fruit in.

      October 23, 2011 at 8:35 am

  2. I love this kind of bread, is one of my favorite….delicious, a great recipe!!
    :D

    October 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm

  3. Ivy

    Healthy and delicious! I haven’t had one date cake for a very long while.

    October 23, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    • Yes it is an old favourite isn’t it.

      October 23, 2011 at 1:14 pm

  4. MUST TRY this, it looks divine. Something so warm and comforting about it!

    October 29, 2011 at 11:42 am

  5. What a fabulous loaf! So tempting. That is one great combination of ingredients and flavors.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    November 1, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    • Thanks Rosa, yes it is a favourite in my house and gets gobbled up in no time!

      November 2, 2011 at 5:21 am

  6. sana

    Hi,
    Half the ingredients are given in metric i.e grams while others are in cup measures. It is difficult. Can you please provide it in grams and millilitres as well, will be much helpful. I am also interested to know if I can halve the recipe.
    Thanks.

    July 7, 2013 at 5:54 am

    • Hello

      I sent the converted measurements to your email. Tell me if you did not receive it.

      Trish :)

      July 17, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      • Sana

        Hi,
        I am sorry for my late reply. I really appreciate your email with the measurements. I had to make this cake for my mother in law so I was fretting over the measurements. It came out superb, I was so proud of it:). This is definitely going to be made again and again in my house because of the demand.
        Thanks again :).

        August 18, 2013 at 6:48 am

      • I’m really glad Sana! Thanks for letting me know as it has made my day :)

        August 20, 2013 at 4:44 pm

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