Friday, 10 May 2013

Little treasures

Keith the dog has been keeping us up in the night - first he thought it was really important to bark at the scaffolding outside the 3:45am (!) and the following night he let us sleep in until 4:45am before alerting us the the "terrible threat" of a badger by the back door.  Several jugs of coffee later and I slowly resembled more than a mere shell of a person.  Bless him - he was only trying to be a good watchdog.  Needless to say that he went on to have a snooze, just like when he was a small puppy.

Despite the lack of sleep I am pleased to say that I have finally got the search function on the blog to work - now, the "Search for Inspiration" button on the right-hand side will make it so much easier to find dishes and good food ideas.

The recipe I tried out yesterday was one I found in a handwritten cookbook which must be a good few decades old.  What a treasure! This date & walnut loaf is so easy, you can make it in your sleep - which is probably just as well - see above :-).  The result is what I call an old-fashioned, simple cake/bread that isn't too sweet.

You could amend the recipe by adding raisins, other dried fruit or chocolate chips but I must say I like the original version and enjoyed a couple of slices for my breakfast.

Have a lovely weekend!

Date & Walnut Loaf

60g soft butter
1 large egg
6 tbsp milk
1 tbsp golden syrup (or honey)
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
80g chopped dried dates
80g chopped walnuts

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees (fan oven).
  2. Put the butter, egg, milk and syrup in a bowl and beat together for 2-3 minutes until creamy.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl, then add the dried dates and walnuts.
  4. Lightly grease a small loaf tin (I used a 1lb one) and spoon the mixture into the tin, smoothing the top (my dough was quite firm, almost like a bread dough but that didn't seem to matter).
  5. Bake on the middle shelf for 40 - 45 minutes - use a skewer to check if the loaf is done.  If not, increase the baking time by another 5 minutes.  If the loaf is browning too quickly, cover it with foil.
  6. Once done, cool on a wire rack.


  1. Good Boy Keith!!! Ha... He is so sweet. I am trying this for sure, I absolutely love dates, I eat them like candy. I always prefer walnuts over pecans, I am guessing this would be fine to double. I just candied some orange rind, I think I will chop a little up and sprinkle over the top before baking. Thank you Kirsten

    1. I do love dates too! Your idea with the candied peel sounds lovely - I'll try that next time. Oh, did you see that you were a winner in the giveaway? I couldn't find contact details in your profile, so couldn't email you. You have won a selection of homemade soaps! Kirsten x

  2. You should really give it a try, lemon, orange, ginger, they are all so wonderful and really add so much zing to any dessert! No....I didn't see that I was a winner, oh my goodness what a great surprise! Thank you Kirsten :)

    So sorry, I didn't realize my e-mail was not showing up....I need to check on

    The strawberry cake sounds so refreshing....and quark, I have read so much about that, I think I first ran across it while reading..French Women Don't Get Fat....ever since then I have been thinking about how would I go about making that!

    Thank you again Kirsten for the sweet surprise...have a good week.

    1. Oh, adding a bit of zing sounds lovely - thank you for the idea! Quark is fabulous stuff - great in desserts but also perfect for making dips. I am not sure what's involved in making it from scratch...will have to look into that :-)

      The soaps should be delivered to me today or tomorrow and I will get them in the post to you straightaway. :-)

      Kirsten x