Although I visit a pub/hotel around twice a year, I read the menus much more often. At work we are often invited to farewell/achievement lunches via emails which nearly always contain an attached pdf menu. I have noticed that nearly every menu has a dessert selection something along the lines of: sticky date pudding, chocolate mud cake and some soft of cheesecake. I have also noticed that I don't think I have ever tasted a sticky date pudding! It's on a pub menu, which means it must be sort of basic dessert that most people would have tried in their life. Not me though (this rock is so heavy). So, when I found a recipe for a sticky date loaf while flipping through 'Delicious; quick smart cook' by Valli Little, I told myself I had to bake it.
There are lots of birds in the garden; I am sitting in the lounge room and outside the window there is a bird bath. There have been birds in there all day which have kept me quite entertained (I live in Adelaide...not much else is happening). At the moment, there are two birds fighting in the bird bath and chasing each other around the rim. The birds seem very cautious when about to take a drink or bath. One bird sat on the rim for five minutes, looking around right to left before it was sure the coast was clear. Oh, speaking of birds...I went walking this morning to walk off the then potential sticky date loaf. An adult magpie and its baby were walking around the edge of a creek. The adult magpie saw me, gave me a very evil eye and squawked at me. I was so scared, pretty sure it was going to attack me, so I ran away from it. I have only been attacked once by a magpie and do not wish to repeat the experience. For some reason, I am really afraid of birds. I used to have a pet budgie, but was always too scared to hold him....I wont even begin to go into my fear of chickens!
Sticky date loaf
From Delicious; quick smart cook, page 210-211(sugar content altered slightly)
What you need
What you need to do
1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees and grease and line a 25cm x 10cm loaf tin (I used a 20cm x 11cm tin and it was slightly too small)
2. Place dates and water in a saucepan. Add one cup water and bring to the boil.
3. Decrease the heat to low and simmer the dates until all the water has been absorbed and the dates are mushy.
4. Mash any large pieces with a spoon and add the butter, sugar and golden syrup. Mix until the butter has melted and then remove from the heat.
5. Stir in the bicarb of soda.
6. Allow the mixture to cool a little and add the two eggs (beat them first).
7. Mix in the flour and baking soda.
Left to right, top to bottom; steps 3, 4, 5/6 and 7
8. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for 30 minutes (my cake took 40-50 minutes)/until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake.
9. Allow the cake to cool in the pan and then transfer to a rack.
10. Serve with butter, or as the recipe book suggests, cream cheese and golden syrup.
This is such a nice cake. I like the colour, the smell, the soft/moist dates and the fact that even though it contains more sugar than what would normally use in a recipe, it is not too sweet
As with everything, it tastes better with butter;) Oh, just found some cream cheese in the fridge and it works well too:)