Here we go with recipe number two of my Year of Cakes and Bakes.
I had every intention of posting this on Friday so that anyone who fancied a spot of weekend baking could indulge and try this out. But I failed miserably and now it’s Tuesday already!
Anyway, this is a great bake and since I discovered the recipe I’ve been making a couple of these pretty much every week. It is great for an after school snack, or in lunchboxes and is delicious spread with butter. It’s also one of those bakes that just keeps getting better as it gets squishier and squishier if you can wait a day or two before tucking in.
The recipe is from one of my new favourite cookbooks The Five O’Clock Apron by Claire Thomson, and the only thing I’ve added to it is a handful of raisins.
- 175g malt extract (I couldn’t find any in the supermarket, but did manage to track some down in Holland and Barratt)
- 85g dark muscovado/dark brown soft sugar
- 300g pitted dates
- 150ml hot black tea
- 2 large free range eggs
- 250g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Grease 2 450g loaf tins with a little sunflower or vegetable oil
- Pre-heat the oven to 150C
- Put the malt extract, sugar and dates into a bowl (I use the bowl of my food processor) and cover with the tea. Leave for 5 minutes to allow the dates to soften, and then whiz the whole lot up in a blender or food processor.
- Tip the whole lot into a bowl, add the eggs and stir well.
- Add the flour, baking powder and bicarb and stir again. I chuck in a good handful of raisins at this point.
- Divide the mix between the two loaf tins, and bake for 50 mins until firm and well risen. Double check by inserting a skewer into each loaf and seeing if it comes out clean.
- Allow to cool, before running a palate knife around the edge and tipping the loaves out onto a cooling rack.
- If you can bear it, wait a day before slicing and serving buttered.
I have started making a double batch of this and baking four loaves at a time. I then freeze two and we devour the other two – they keep well for at least a week (if they last that long).
Do let me know if you have a go, and what you think!