Fresh dates seem to be all the rage at the moment. They’re popping up in raw, paleo and low-sugar recipes – cakes, brownies, bliss balls and the like. While I’m never going to strictly follow any of these diets, I’m all for reducing the amount of processed sugar in our diets. And when I saw a huge 2.5kg box of dates on sale at the supermarket the other week, I couldn’t resist.
What to cook? The first recipe I thought of was date loaf. Something about it reminds me of my childhood afternoon teas and the distinctive caramel-like aroma of the round date loaves we used to buy from Brumby’s. Remember those?
But when I looked at many traditional date loaf recipes, there were packed with dates and lots of sugar, plus some of them even added honey or syrup as well! So I’ve played around with the recipe and reduced the sugar with no discernible difference in flavour.
I love the crunchy addition of walnuts, although I’ve chosen to chop them up finely for this recipe – my kids seem to prefer it this way. Make it without walnuts for a nut-free lunchbox.
Cook much with dates? What recipes are your favourites?
Thermomix date loaf with walnuts
Prep time 5 minutes
Cooking time 30 minutes
200g fresh dates, pitted
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
250g boiling water
50g raw or brown sugar
200g self-raising flour
pinch of salt
Here’s what you do
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line a loaf tin.
2. Place dates, bicarbonate of soda and boiling water in TM bowl and cook for 2 minutes/100 degrees/speed soft.
3. Add walnuts, sugar and butter. Mix for 10 seconds/speed 6.
4. Turn to speed 3 and while motor is running, add egg and mix for 4 seconds.
5. Add self-raising flour and salt and mix for 10 seconds/speed 8.
6. Pour mixture into prepared loaf tin and bake for about 30 minutes.
Serves a gang of hungry kids