Spiced date and clementine loaf
You don’t have to be a star baker to knock up this lovely loaf cake – and it’s just right for an afternoon nibble
Warm with spices and finished with a clementine glaze, this loaf is light, moist and a perfect accompaniment to a steaming mug of tea.
Soaking the dates in water and bicarbonate of soda softens the skins, making them even stickier and toffee-redolent.
The cake will keep for three to four days in an airtight container.
SPICED DATE AND CLEMENTINE LOAF
Makes one 1-litre loaf
200g stoned dates, finely sliced
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
300ml boiling water
75g unsalted butter
175g light brown soft sugar
3 large eggs
225g self-raising flour, sifted
2 tsp mixed spice
Zest of 3 clementines
For the glaze:
Juice of 2 clementines
50g caster sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan 150°C/gas 3. Grease and line a 1-litre loaf tin.
2. Put the dates in a bowl with the bicarbonate of soda and boiling water. Stir and set aside.
3. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
4. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
5. Fold in the flour and mixed spice.
6. Pour in the dates and their liquid, add the clementine zest and mix well.
7. Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 1 hour, or until a skewer pushed into the centre comes out clean.
8. Meanwhile, make the glaze by mixing together the clementine juice and sugar.
9. Remove the cake from the oven and prick all over with a skewer or fork. Spoon over the glaze.
10. Allow to cool completely in the tin before turning out.