You know when you have memories of things you ate as a kid that you just LOVED? I have plenty of those locked away (because I am obsessed with food and obviously have been since an early age). I remember scones at my great aunt and uncle’s farm, their warm crumbly texture with the jam & cream – just SO good! I remember going to coffee lounges with my mum on special dates by ourselves, eating an egg and lettuce sandwich with perhaps a fancy sprig of curly parsley or an orange slice. I remember hot chips at the beach with tomato sauce in containers with newspaper print on then. And, of course, I remember the odd slice of date loaf that we would have from school fete. You know the kind – moist and slathered in butter. I could eat the stuff for days. This recipe instantly transports me back to our kitchen bench where I’d be cutting another slice (even though Mum said not to).
This recipe is egg-free and makes enough for two loaves (or four if using mini pans). It has become a firm favourite in our house, and even won me a ribbon at the local show a few years ago. Make it once and it will most definitely not be your last time.
Date loaf (makes 2 loaves)
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
- 500 g packet pitted dates, chopped by hand or blitzed in the food processor
- 125 g butter, cut into cubes
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 cups boiling water
- 3 1/2 cups self-raising flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C and line two 22cm x 10cm loaf tins with baking paper.
- Transfer chopped dates into a bowl along with the butter, brown sugar and vanilla essence.
- Pour the boiling water over the top and let it sit for a few moments, until the butter is melted. If you have pulsed the dates in a food processor, give the mixture a stir to break up them up.
- Sift in the flour and baking powder and give it a good mix with a wooden spoon to combine.
- Divide the mixture between the lined loaf tins. Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through (every oven is different, so test by inserting a skewer into the centre of the loaf. – if the skewer comes out clean, the loaf is cooked).
- Cool on a wire rack when done. Serve warm with butter. The extra load can be frozen when cooled down.
Beth of Baby Mac has been blogging since 2006 and made the move from the city to the country in 2010. On Baby Mac she writes about her family, life in the country, entertaining and recipes, interiors – with a good dose of humour on the side.