This old fashioned date & walnut cake is a perfect replacement for your usual fruit cake for Christmas or a slightly fancy cake for your teatime!
- 175-200 gms pitted dates finely chopped * see notes
- 100 gms (1 cup) walnuts roughly chopped
- 100 gms (2/3rd cup) soft brown sugar (I used dark muscovado)
- 100 gms (3/4th cup+1 tbsp) all purpose flour (maida)
- 100 gms (1/2 cup) butter softened at room temperature
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder *see notes
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
- pinch of salt
- 2 tsp honey optional
Prepare an 8"x4"x2" loaf pan - grease the insides and line with parchment/butter paper. Keep aside. Preheat the oven at 160°C / 320°F (for 15mins if you are using an OTG without the pre-heat option).
Place the chopped dates in a bowl and pour boiling water to cover them. Keep aside for 10-15minutes. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg powders together a couple of times and keep aside.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together the butter and sugar until creamy. Add one egg at a time and beat well till incorporated. Add the honey and mix well.
Sift in the flour in 3 parts, mixing each part with a spatula till incorporated. Add the nuts and the dates (drained) and fold.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack/mesh to cool for 15mins. Remove from tin and allow to cool completely before cutting. Sift some powdered sugar over the surface to decorate (optional)
Serve with a hot cup of tea or coffee.
I used Omani dates that were just ripe and were not overly sweet. You may use the variety of your choice. Mushier & darker (in colour) dates will yield a sweeter taste and darker colour. The original recipe asked for 200gm, but I reduced it to 1 cup (approx 165gm) that yielded a mildly sweet cake.
Instead of cinnamon & nutmeg powder you may use mixed spice powder that is generally used for Christmas cakes. Two pinches of dried orange peel powder will also add to the taste and aroma.