Cakes & Bakes: Date and walnut loaf

Home-made date and walnut loaf | H is for Home

This date and walnut loaf is outstanding as an afternoon tea cake. It’s like a cross between malt loaf, a Yorkshire tea loaf and sticky toffee pudding.

Date and walnut loaf tins | H is for Home

Justin can never get enough of teatime loaf cakes, so this was made with him in mind.

Date and walnut loaf tins | H is for Home

So, if you’ve got a packet of dates lurking at the back of your food cupboard (perhaps from Christmas) this is the perfect way to use them all up.

Date and walnut loaf
Yields 2
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Cook Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 450g/1lb stoned dates
  2. 1½tsp bicarbonate of soda
  3. 280ml/½pt boiling water or black tea
  4. 60g/2oz butter, softened
  5. 300g/12oz demerara sugar
  6. 2tbsp black treacle
  7. 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  8. 450g/1lb plain flour
  9. pinch of salt
  10. 60g/2oz chopped walnuts
  11.  
  12. Home-made date and walnut loaf ingredients
  13.  
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
  2. Line two loaf tins with parchment paper
  3. Mix the bicarbonate of soda into the boiling water/black tea and pour over the dates making sure they're all covered. Leave until it goes cold
  4. Beat together the butter and sugar
  5. Add the beaten eggs
  6. Gradually add the flour, salt and chopped nuts
  7. Add the dates and the liquid they were soaking in. Combine thoroughly
  8. Divide the mixture between the two lined loaf tins
  9. Bake in the middle of the oven for an hour. Check on them after 45 minutes to make sure that their tops aren't cooking too quickly. If they start appearing too brown, cover the tops over with tin foil for the final 15 minutes cooking time
  10. Allow to cool on a wire rack
  11. To eat, slice and spread with butter
Adapted from Yorkshire W. I. Recipe book
Adapted from Yorkshire W. I. Recipe book
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Price Points: Loose leaf afternoon tea

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Selection of loose leaf afternoon tea

We love to punctuate the day with a few cups of strong tea. The 4 o’clock sit down with tea & biscuits or slice of cake is a particular pleasure. It’s the time to take a moment – rest the feet if we’ve been on them, reflect on the day, think about what’s next – an enjoy the hot cuppa of course.

Our daily brew is usually supplied by Taylor’s loose leaf Yorkshire tea which we like and is readily available in any supermarket. We haven’t sampled the Whittard Robert Fortune as yet, but it sounds good. We were actually given a present of some Fortnum & Mason Queen Anne blend a while ago – it was delicious and immediately became a favourite.

  1. Taylors of Harrogate Yorkshire leaf tea – £2.10 (250g)
    A proper brew. Pure and simple. To give our blend its refreshing flavour, strength and colour we use top quality Assam and African teas.

  2. Queen Anne tea – £9.95 (250g)
    Created in 1907, our bicentenary year, this popular blend commemorates the reigning sovereign in the year that Fortnum & Mason first began. The smooth blend of carefully selected TGFOP Assam and Ceylon FBOP teas produces a strong, smooth tea that is refreshing at any time of day.

  3. Robert Fortune Blend – £8.00 (100g)
    Something of a hero in the world of tea, Robert Fortune was the James Bond of the British tea trade… We’ve tracked Fortune’s travels with a blend of teas from India and China, adding a delicate touch of high-grown Himalayan tea and an elegant homage of white Camellia tea flowers. You’ll find the rich, fruity notes of Chinese Yunnan tea is a superb match for the varieties first cultivated by the British in northern India – all in all, it’s a tea which tells a story, and a rather delicious one at that.

Afternoon Scones

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homemade scones, homemade strawberry jam and clotted cream

I’ve been meaning to make some scones for a while – in fact ever since coming back from our holiday in Wells-Next-the-Sea. While we were there, I spent a sunny afternoon at Wiveton Hall Fruit Farm picking strawberries. I filled this massive punnet with sweet, fat, fragrant strawberries – specimens such as I’d never tasted before!

homemade jam made with strawberries we picked at Wiverton Farm on the North Norfolk coast

Those that didn’t get eaten there & then returned home with us and made into a massive pan of strawberry conserve. We gave lots away to friends & family and kept a couple of jars for ourselves. We’ve had it on toast & croissants, some was used as sponge cake filling, but you can’t beat it on warm, freshly baked scones!

baking ingredients to make homemade scones

To make the scones, I once again used a recipe from The Great Big Cookie Book by Hilaire Walden. Here it is:

Afternoon scones

Afternoon scones

Ingredients

  • 225g/8oz/2 cups plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 2.5ml/½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 5ml/1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 25g/1oz/2 tbs butter
  • 150ml/¼ pint/? cup milk or buttermilk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas mark 7. Flour a baking sheet. Sift the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar into a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Gradually stir in just enough milk to make a light, spongy dough.
  2. Turn the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Roll to 2½cm/1in thick. Cut into rounds with a floured 5cm/2in cutter.
  3. Place the scones on the prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with milk.
  4. Bake for 7-10 minutes until the scones are well risen and golden brown.

Notes

Serve with jam and a big dollop of clotted cream!

http://hisforhomeblog.com/cookery/afternoon-scones/

Rodda's clotted cream container & packaging

PS – We usually buy Rodda’s clotted cream which is delicious – but don’t you just love the packaging too?!