Autumn Walnut and Fresh Date Loaf

A favorite recipe of mine first published in my column "Local Faire", Walnut and Date Loaf is fantastic with a cup of tea. New season walnuts are due any day so keep your eyes open. All nuts keep best in a dark cool environment as this helps protect their natural oils. I like to keep mine in a glass jar in the fridge.

This recipe has less cane sugar than the average muffin so is perfectly suitable in my opinion for breakfast.

Autumn Walnut and Fresh Date Loaf

1 cup apple juice
1 tbsp butter, softened (25g)
7 fresh medjool dates, stones removed, chopped
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg, beaten
1 cup dark brown soft sugar
1/2 cup chopped wild walnuts (this season)
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp cardamon
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 180ºC or 160ºC if fan-bake.
1. Warm the apple juice with the butter until the butter has melted. Add the dates and baking soda, mix well.
2. Add the egg, sugar and walnuts and combine.
3. Sift together flour, cardamon and baking powder. Fold into the date and walnut mixture.
4. Bake in a lined loaf pan for 40-45 minutes or until the the loaf springs back to the touch. Allow to rest in the pan for ten minutes before turning out.

Cooking Temp: 180ºC or 160ºC if fan-bake
Cooking Time: 40-45 minutes
Prep Time: 10 minutes

* Medjool dates are available in New Zealand and are generally imported from America. They are available in the fruit and vegetable section of the supermarket and should be kept in the fridge.

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