The sky was so clear last night, I’ve never seen so many stars scattered across the night-time curtain of dark blue. Then, when the sun rose, there was a crisp, silver blanket spread over the city. Blades of grass turned into silver swords, puddles into mirror like circles. The mist sitting so heavily along the canal. The first frost of winter.
The condensation on the inside of our boat’s windows had frozen, and we could see our breath, it was so cold. Thankfully we have a brilliant wood burner, and it soon melted away any trace of winter.
This loaf is just what you need this time of year, run home, heat yourself up a nice mug of Chai, and cut yourself a hunky bit of this tasty loaf.
If you can resist, leave this to sit overnight, as it tastes even better the day after.
Date, Apple and Walnut Loaf
200g pitted dates
70g dried cranberries
90g unrefined light brown sugar
200g wholemeal flour
50g coconut flour
100g chopped walnuts
1 apple (peeled and cut into small cubes)
1 egg (use 1 mashed banana if you want to make this vegan friendly)
25g mixed seeds (I used sunflower and pumpkin)
3 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon all spice
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon sea salt
Sprinkling of sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4 (180 C)
Grease and line a loaf tin.
Chop the dates and cranberries and add to a saucepan with the apple pieces. Add 4 tablespoons of water. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and let it simmer for 15 mins. It should form a paste. If you need to you can mash it a bit with a fork.
While the dates are cooking, melt the coconut oil in a pan. Set aside.
In a bowl, mix the flours, walnuts, seeds, baking powder, spices and salt.
Add the melted coconut oil to the date-apple paste, along with the sugar, and egg (or banana), mix well.
Mix the wet with the dry, until just combined (don’t over mix)
Spread into your loaf tin, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake for approx. 50 mins (or until a knife comes out clear of mixture)
Let the loaf sit for 15 minutes then turn out onto rack and leave to cool.