I have got something ground breakingly amazing to say about this cake, and that is that it tastes ground breakingly amazing. It doesn't exactly re-invent the cake wheel (if you will), but hopefully it is going to introduce all my international readers (hey y'all!) to the kind of British cake that never gets much attention: the tea bread. Basically, fruity loaf cakes that turn your hot drink into something magical, comforting and fabulous. I got the idea from my friend Row, when she was telling me about a cake her mum used to make, adapted from a Mary Berry recipe for something rather different.
You should make it because it has dates in it. Do you know how underrated dates are in cake? Hideously. And do you know something else? I am not alone in my adoration of the fruit of the phoenix dactylifera. According to a study by Al-Shahib and Marshall,
"dates may be considered as an almost ideal food, providing a wide range of essential nutrients and potential health benefits."
(Don't you just ♥love♥ Wikipedia?)
The fact of the matter is, dates are great. Mine even came in a box that read 'DATE ME', so you get camp kitsch as well as delicious stickiness. There aren't many things in life that you can say the same about.
I only have one photo of the cake (and none of the dates in their cute box), because I didn't plan on posting this recipe. However, upon tasting it, I realised that it needed to be shared. Make it, my people. Taste it. Believe.
I have marked the egg in the ingredients as optional, because such squidgy, fruity, banana filled loaf cakes simply do not need eggs in them. This is a fact. You may also use margarine in place of the butter, and, should you wish, call me a veganizer, and sing to me in the style of Britney Spears:
'You you you are...
You you you are...
A veganizer veganizer veganizer VEGANIZER!'
No kidding, I would actually like that very much. I wonder what other songs you could sing for me in the kitchen?
There's lots more coming on Delicious Delicious Delicious shortly. I have just been busy, which is why there have been so few posts. Next up is some more charity baking, so see you back here for that.
Banana, Date, Apricot and Walnut Tea Bread
You will need:
200g dates, stoned and chopped
50g dried apricots, chopped
150ml boiling water
90g caster sugar
1 egg (optional - there's enough fruit and banana not to need it)
250g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
100g walnuts, chopped
2 mashed bananas
- Grease and line a standard loaf tin. Pre heat the oven to 180°C.
- Soak the dates and apricots in the hot water for 15 minutes.
- Combine the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and egg in a bowl until well blended. This is difficult - I would add the flour gradually once everything else has mixed, and use soft butter.
- Add the bananas, dates, apricots and nuts and fold in well.
- Bake for 1 hour or until the loaf cake tests done. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and peel off the lining paper. Cool completely.