This is also a good 'keeping' cake that can be stored for up to a week so it's a great standby in case someone unexpectedly drops by for tea.
Date and Walnut LoafServes: 12
Ingredients:225g (8 oz) self-raising flour
25g (8 oz) pitted dates
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
150ml boiling water
75g (3 oz) caster sugar
75g (3 oz) butter
1 medium egg, beaten
75g (3 oz) walnuts, chopped
Method:Sift the flour into a small bowl and set aside.
Chop the dates and mix in a bowl with the bicarbonate of soda then pour over the boiling water.
Cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten egg, a little at a time, beating thoroughly to combine after each addition.
Stir in the flour and the nuts then fold in the dates. Spoon the resultant batter into a 1kg (2 lb) loaf tin lined with baking parchment.
Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 180ºC (350ºF, Gas Mark 4) and bake for 60 minutes. Once cooked (a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should emerge cleanly) remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin.
Once cold, remove from the tin then slice and serve.