Cakes & Bakes: Fig, almond and walnut loaf

Fig, almond and walnut loaf | H is for Home

Recently, we’ve been challenging ourselves to get by on a weekly food budget of £30.00 for two. We’ve been managing very well to date; buying carefully, preparing sauces in bulk (some which we freeze for future meals) – and using up tinned foods that have been half-forgotten in the cupboard.

Tinned figs | H is for Home

One of those tins were these Baldji’s Kalamata fresh figs in syrup. I think I bought them over a year ago with the intention of making some sort of dessert. After looking for a little online inspiration, I found a River Cottage recipe for fig, almond and walnut loaf.

Mixture of eggs, bicarbonate of soda and pouring in coconut oil

Their recipe included dried figs and water so I simply used the equivalent weight of the tinned figs and their syrup. I also needed to double the cook time from 20 to 40 minutes.

Fig almond and walnut loaf mixture | H is for Home Fig almond and walnut loaf mixture | H is for Home

Once the mixture was ready to put into the tin and on to the oven, I must admit, it didn’t look promising. It had the colour and consistency of refried beans. A bit of a grey, purple, sludgy slop!

Fig, almond and walnut loaf | H is for Home

Luckily, looks were deceiving as it turned out very well – delicious in fact. A few people have tried it – some would prefer it a little sweeter, so sugar, Stevia or agave could be added. We found that a drizzle of honey on the top of a slice was the perfect addition. The flavour works really well with the figs and gives that extra sweetness too.

Sliced fig, almond and walnut loaf | H is for Home

Click here to save the recipe to Pinterest for later.

Fig, almond and walnut loaf
Ingredients
  1. 100g/3½oz dried figs
  2. 100ml/3½ fl oz water
  3. 60g/2oz walnuts
  4. 175g/6oz ground almonds
  5. 3 large eggs
  6. 80g/3oz melted coconut oil or unsalted butter
  7. 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  8. 1tsp cider vinegar
  9. Pinch of saltHome-made fig almond walnut loaf ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 150°C/300ºF/Gas mark 2
  2. Line a 500g/1lb loaf tin with baking parchment
  3. Roughly chop the figs and add them with the water to a small saucepan over a medium heat. Simmer gently until most of the water is absorbed
  4. Blitz the figs in a food processor until they form a coarse paste
  5. Add the ground almonds and process again until damp crumbs form
  6. Add the walnuts and salt and process again briefly until they're coarsely chopped. Set aside.
  7. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat eggs and bicarbonate of soda with an electric hand whisk until frothy
  8. Whilst still beating, slowly drizzle in the coconut oil/butter in a thin stream and continue beating until the eggs are pale, thick and doubled in volume
  9. Sprinkle vinegar over the eggs and beat briefly to distribute evenly. Work quickly as the vinegar will activate the bicarbonate of soda
  10. Tip the nut mixture onto the eggs and fold in thoroughly with a metal spoon until the nuts are evenly distributed
  11. Scrape into the prepared tin and bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes away clean. Give the loaf more time to bake and perhaps turn the temperature down if it browns too fast
  12. Cool on a wire rack before eating
Notes
  1. You can store the loaf in an air-tight container in a cool place for up to 3 days - or slice & freeze for up to 2 weeks
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Adapted from River Cottage
Adapted from River Cottage
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Date and nut energy bars

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Date and nut energy bars

Let’s be honest, how many times do you make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and instinctively reach for the biscuit tin? I know I do… at least once a day! Well, if you want to banish that guilty feeling – or just give yourself a healthier option – these date and nut energy bars are for you.

There are just 3 ingredients and there’s no cooking or baking involved – just a couple of minutes (literally!) in a food processor and a few hours in the fridge.

Healthy, raw-food snacks don’t have to be boring, bland or cranky. These energy bars are going to replace those high sugar, high fat, high calorie cookies & biscuits… well, some of them anyway, I love a crumbly shortbread with a nice cup of Yorkshire tea! 😉

Cakes & Bakes: Date and nut energy bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: makes 12 fingers

Cakes & Bakes: Date and nut energy bars

Ingredients

  • 125g/4½oz almonds (skin on or off)
  • 185g/6½oz dried dates
  • 100g/3½oz dark chocolate
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Instructions

  1. Put the almonds into a food processor and blitz until the almonds are chopped fine
  2. Add the dried dates to the ground almonds and blitz again until smooth
  3. Add the chocolate, broken into squares and blitz for a third time until finely ground
  4. Empty the mixture into an 18cm/7inch-square loose-based cake tin
  5. Press down firmly & evenly using a cranked palette knife or the back of a dessert spoon, paying attention to the corners
  6. Cover the tin in clingfilm/Saran wrap and put it into the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  7. Remove from the fridge, lift the square out of the tin onto a chopping board and slice into squares or fingers
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