To keep abreast with this season of dates, I thought I will feature one of the recipes from my Heart-Healthy Sweet & Dessert cookbook, the date and walnut loaf. It was kind of difficult to leave a lot of tips in those mini books, so I handpicked this recipe to share few tips that I find useful when making loaf cakes or fruit cakes, which are usually dense due to addition of fruits and nuts.
The best part of making this loaf is it does not require any mixer, and only 2 bowls. One for soaking the dates and the other to combine all the remaining ingredients. The most important step is actually choosing the right kind of dates, and soaking them until mushy. This step will ensure the cake is moist, with uniform distribution of dates and not clumpy.
I highly recommend Medjool dates, as they are sweet and soft. If you don’t have Medjool then choose dates which are soft, and darker in colour as they tend to be sweeter.
How long to soak the dates for? Roughly it should only takes 30 minutes for soft dates to be mushy, but eye ball the mixture for shorter or longer if needed. You can add bicarbonate soda on the date mixture, but I personally prefer adding that to the flour and sift both together.
As this cake really takes around half an hour of preparation, do preheat the oven as you begin your preparation. Most oven generally requires around 20 minutes to reach to ideal temperature. Do try out this loaf, versatile enough to be made into mini loaves, perfect for homemade gifts or for Eid celebration parties.
Date and Walnut Loaf
recipe from Heart-Healthy Sweet And Dessert
1 1/2 cups pitted medjool dates
1 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cups plain flour
4 tbsp rolled oats
1 tspbaking pwoder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
4 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
1. Soak the dates in boiling water for 30 minutes until mushy.
2. Preheat oven to 170 C.
3. In a bowl combined flour with oats, baking powder, bicarbonate soda and sugar.
4. Add dates followed by walnuts.
5. Mix well and pour into greased loaf pan ( 7x 3 in) or 5 mini loaves disposables.
6. Bake for 40 minutes ( 20 for mini loaves) until skewer comes out clean.