Sunday, 31 July 2011

Date & Walnut Loaf

I love family time. I think most of us do.
The moments when we sit with our loved ones, -the old and the young- laughing, talking, sharing anecdotes and advice are without a doubt the most precious to me. There were times back home when we were a 'proper nuclear family'- Parents and kids. We used to do everything together. Wake up in the morning and share breakfast as one, have lunch together in the afternoons and of course dinner at night. The moments when we all used to 'chill out' in the evenings and the weekends, collectively sitting in the living room and sharing the stories of our days or even just watching television- these are all my most treasured memories. Often we used to get together with our grandparents and extended family and let our hours pass by whilst we spent time together.
Of course life moves on. 
Some of us got married, the others went off to university and everyone created a life for themselves. And now I appreciate and realise the beauty that we had been granted. There is NOTHING like family. The love that you feel when you're with them is incomparable. The security, the warmth and the happiness is unprecedented.
It happens every now and then though- we all do gather together- albeit a bigger group. Now its married couples instead of single kids, small children everywhere and - A WHOLE LOAD OF MORE LOVE :-)

Recently my grandparents had come over from Africa. I only got a couple of days to spend with them but savoured those few moments. Since they watch the amount of sugar that they have and usually avoid the ready made available snacks from the supermarkets, I really really wanted to make something that they would enjoy when they would settle in the evenings with their cups of tea.
Something wholesome and enjoyable.

I chose Date and Walnut Loaf.

Since this takes a long time in the oven, I had to get up quite early on a Sunday morning to make it, but it was totally worth it.
They really REALLY enjoyed it!!! 
Since there's a lot of dates in this loaf, I just cut down the amount of sugar I put in by a third or a half and it still tasted pretty good.
Although when I make it otherwise, I follow the recipe properly.

I find this considerably more time and energy consuming than the other things that I bake, mainly because of it being a dough and also because of all the chopping required.

But its worth it :-)

Here's the recipe:

8oz Plain flour
8 oz chopped Dates
4oz Margarine
4oz Brown Sugar
3oz chopped Walnuts
1tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Soda Bicarbonate
1 egg
6tbsp milk

Rub in flour, baking powder and margarine.
Add in Sugar, walnuts, dates and mix it all together.
Add in the egg lightly beaten.
Mix the Soda bicarb with the milk and use this mixture to bind the dough together.
Place the mixture in a 1lb loaf tin and bake at 160c for 11/4 hours.

Once it is done, let it cool in its tin for around 5 minutes and then transfer it on to a cooling rack. Let it cool completely before slicing.

Make yourself a cuppa and enjoy :-)


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