Date and Walnut loaf

You know? Today has been shitty. Today started with tears once again as reports emerged of yet another terrible mass shooting in America.

I thought about the blog today. As I walked my dogs this morning, I thought about growing up in the 70s in the UK while the IRA waged a guerilla war. I thought about the Oscar Wilde story, The Happy Prince, which has been playing on my mind recently and I thought about adding my voice to the many, many voices expressing sorrow and outrage at an awful event. But there are people who are more qualified than me to do that, and a lot statistics being thrown about and I have nothing new to add to the debate.

I found myself watching an online video of a man who is sailing the world in a yacht with a chicken. I know it seemed frivolous but for the few minutes I watched it, I was reminded that not every human being on this planet is broken and seeking to find a resolution by breaking others around them.

But what I do have is a recipe, and making food is a way that humans can share love, so today I will just share a recipe that I tried for the first time yesterday and hope that someone is able to get some enjoyment from that. The recipe is from a book by Wendy Sharpe and Annabel Crabb and is called Special Delivery. I hope now that I have acknowledged it they don’t come after me with a take down notice when I could have easily lied and pretended it was handed down from my grandmother or something. All the ingredients go into a big saucepan and you don’t need any machinery. The recipe works very well but I would recommend getting all the stuff ready to go, because once it gets going, it moves pretty fast. You won’t want to stop and weigh.

These measurements are pretty awkward in imperial, which makes me think that it was rounded up for metric then converted back.

You will need a loaf tin. I used what used to be called a 1lb loaf tin and it was fine. I think this cake is pretty robust and will adapt to most containers. The loaf tin should be lined, except mine is silicone so I do not have to worry.

Preheat your oven to moderate 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4

60 g (2 1\4 oz) butter

160 g (6 oz) pitted dates

150g (5 1/2 oz) raw sugar

150g (5 1/2 oz) self-raising white flour

150g (5 1/2 oz) self-raising wholemeal flour  (worth the swap if you can be bothered – it adds to the depth of flavour). It is basically half and half roughly of 300g / 11 oz.

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

175g Walnut halves

1 egg, lightly whisked.


Put water and butter in pan and heat to melt butter slowly. Add dates, then sugar, stir to dissolve.

Remove pan from heat. Add bicarbonate and it will fizz up, now add the flour and the walnuts and then stir in the beaten egg.

(I did not do this. I had already measure the flour and the bi carb together so that all went in at once. Less fizz, but it worked just fine.)

Pour  mixture into loaf tin and bake 40 mins at 18 degrees C (350 F gas Mark 4).
Share with people you love.

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