Thursday, 2 February 2012

Mini Date & Walnut Loaf/Cake




I bought these really cute mini loaf cases from Lakeland the other day, so I had to find the perfect recipe to match. I was thinking of some mini brioches or Panettones, but settled on this Date & Walnut Loaf. It's got dates and walnuts in it - so it's nearly health food in my book! 




I adapted the recipe from good old Delia Smith's Book of Cakes. I've just had a look at my book and it is as old as me! Only thirty five years old! But I would say most of the recipes are still as reliable as they always were - you can always trust Delia for a good recipe. I sometimes just substitute some of the more old fashioned ingredients for something a little more contemporary.



Makes 10 mini loaves
Ingredients:
225ml boiling water
175g dates, stoned and chopped
1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
25g butter
1 large egg
150g soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
75g ground almonds
75g walnuts, chopped
225g sponge flour (self raising)
pinch salt
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
half teaspoon fresh nutmeg

For the apricot glaze:
2 tablespoons apricot jam
1 tablespoon boiling water

For the icing:
150g icing sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 180C



HOW TO MAKE:
In a small bowl pour the boiling water over the dates. Add the bicarb, then the butter and stir until the butter has melted. Leave to cool.

Meanwhile, beat the egg in a large bowl, add the sugar and beat well again. Then add the cooled date mixture and the rest of the cake ingredients and stir until combined.

Have your mini loaf cases ready on a baking sheet. I weighed 100g of cake mixture into each case. Place the loaves into the preheated oven just below the middle shelf. Bake for 30 minutes until the top is nicely browned and the centre feels springy. Transfer the loaves to a wire rack and leave to cool.

Prepare the apricot glaze. Paint a very thin layer onto the loaves with a pastry brush and leave to set for a few minutes.

Mix all the icing ingredients together and drizzle over each cake. Leave to set for an hour before devouring!




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