WALNUT DATE BREAD
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup boiling water
1 cup chopped pitted dates
2/3 cup walnut pieces
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Strawberry cream cheese, optional
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Generously oil a 9″x5″ loaf pan and dust with flour.
Place butter, baking soda, boiling water and dates into a heatproof mixing bowl. let cool. Mix in walnuts, sugar, egg yolk, flour and vanilla extract. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour.
Cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan onto rack to cool. Slice and serve with strawberry cream cheese and freshly brewed tea.
Bakers of bread rolls and pastry cooks will not buy grain before eleven o’clock in winter and noon in summer; bakers of large loaves will not buy grain before two o’clock. This will enable the people of the town to obtain their supply first. Bakers shall put a distinctive trademark on their loaves, and keep weights and scales in their shops, under penalty of having their licences removed.
–1635 law introduced by Cardinal Richelieu
I prefer to regard a dessert as I would imagine the perfect woman: subtle, a little bittersweet, not blowsy and extrovert. Delicately made up, not highly rouged. Holding back, not exposing everything and, of course, with a flavor that lasts. ~Graham Kerr