The girls tried my nana’s nut loaf for the first time on our working retreat in Byron Bay. We spent four days locked away from all distraction, madly finishing the testing of recipes for this book. A lot of heated debates were had, and one afternoon’s tension was relieved when we all sat down with a good strong cuppa and a thickly buttered slice of nut loaf. Disagreements were resolved, frustrations were calmed and all was good in the MMCC house. ~ Jacqui, MMCC
- 250 ml (1 cup) boiling water
- 1 (black tea) tea bag
- 115 g (¾ cup) pitted dried dates
- 140 g (¾ cup, lightly packed) brown sugar
- 60 g unsalted butter
- 180 g plain flour
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- pinch of sea salt
- 60 g (½ cup) chopped walnuts
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease a loaf tin.
Steep the tea bag in the boiling water for 30 seconds, then discard the tea bag.
Roughly chop the dates and put in a saucepan with the tea, sugar and butter over medium–high heat. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 minute. Set aside to cool.
Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Add the walnuts and mix through. Pour the cooled date mixture onto the dry ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon.
Tip into the prepared tin. Bake for 35 minutes or until cooked through. Serve with butter and/or cheese.
Recipe and image from It’s Always About the Food by the Monday Morning Cooking Club (Harper Collins, hb, $49.99).