Restorative date loaf

IMG_3770A friend in need is a friend indeed, do you think?  I don’t know the exact origin of this phrase (although the finger is pointed at a certain Quintus Ennius), but I do know that anyone in any kind of need can do with a tasty date loaf.  And if you are of my age and vintage in life, you may well have Placebo running through your head at the moment too.

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This recipe brings together a few of my favourite things: butter, brown sugar, and Bin Inn.  I won’t start up again about how much I love Bin Inn (I’ve done so on previous occasions, if you are desperate to know more), but I will say they do make a fine date loaf, on which I have based this version with a few of my own tweaks.

Knowing me by now as a somewhat lazy baker, you are probably not surprised that this requires very little effort and can be mixed up using only one bowl.  You have to chop the dates yourself, but I bet you could find pre-diced ones somewhere, and voila, even easier.

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I am taking this little number, all cutely dressed up, to drop over to a friend who is plagued by a most unkind virus.  I’m hoping my date loaf will bring a little solace, and if not, at least a little sugar.  So if you find yourself in need, give this one a try.

Take care until next time.

Restorative date loaf ingredients:

  • 1 cup dates, chopped
  • 1 cup Boiling Water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 t ground ginger
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 
1 tbsp golden syrup

Line a loaf tin with baking paper and set the oven to 170 degrees celsius.

Place the dates, sugar, baking soda and butter into a large-ish bowl.  Pour over the boiling water and leave to cool.

Add the flour, cinnamon, ginger, egg, baking powder and golden syrup.  Combine and pour into the prepared loaf tin.

Bake at 170 degrees celsius for 45 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.

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Apple Coconut Flan by Edmonds

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How do you like them apples?  That’s how I feel I should be addressing you, because we really have had a lot of apply recipes by this point in the Edmonds A section.  But I love a good flan and this little number is easy and satisfying, so it’s worth a try if you like the sound of it.  d

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It all beings with a packet of Edmonds butter cake mix.  I haven’t bought cake mix for years. It gives me a little guilty pang and I feel like I should be making my own from scratch.  One of the last times I used cake mix was a formative baking experience back in the mists of time.  I had to produce a cake for Girls Brigade and Mum, sick with the flu and no doubt not feeling up to chaperoning a junior baker in the kitchen, bought me an orange cake mix.  I proudly presented the finished product to the family table and Mum, who probably wanted to eat anything else in the world apart from a vivid orange pile of stodge crafted by a 10 year old, gallantly rose from bed and forced down a bowlful.  Being the anxious kid I was, I decided then and there if anything happened to Mum I would always remember that moment.  Probably a little hysterical on my part (I always was a worrier) but it was a very touching moment nonetheless and I still appreciate her sucking it up for the sake of my feelings.

IMG_3652If you want to make this Apple Coconut Flan, you will need:

  • 1 packet Edmonds Butter Cake Mix
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 125g butter
  • 2 cups stewed apple
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Set the oven to 180 degrees celsius.  Combine the coconut and cake mix in a bowl.  Edmonds offers you the choice of doing this by hand or with a food processor.  I don’t think you need a food processor, I did this by hand very easily.

Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  In another bowl, combine the stewed apple and lemon rind and put in the bottom of a greased, oven-proof baking dish.  Spoon the cake mixture over the apples, and then combine the water and lemon juice and pour this over the top.  Bake for 55 minutes or until pale golden and firm to touch.  You can serve this hot or cold.

The apple in my version caramelised rather charmingly at the corners of the dish and the coconut toasted up a little in the topping.  We had ours semi-warmed with some yoghurt and it went down a treat, I hope particularly for my Mum.

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