Feb 27, 2012

Pecan and date loaf

I love coffee. I love really good coffee even more. Sometimes I will drink bad coffee if the other option is no coffee at all. You see a trend here?

As far back as I can remember it's been that way. I can't imagine the start of any day without it's super giving powers. It doesn't help that I am not a morning person. What does help of course is a little caffeine to get the brain ticking. Sometime ago, I read an article about a study that said that caffeine in the morning provided no more alertness than eating an apple first thing in the morning. I tried eating an apple. I'm sure their study was faltered.

While I have my favourites I go back to time and again, I don't really discriminate. Short black espressos, cappuccinos, lates, piccollos, macchiatos all get their turn.

I don't consider myself a coffee snob but I do have some rules I live by. No flavourings or syrups. Ever. And no coffee after 4pm if I intend getting any sleep that night.

Most of the time I am happy to sip a cup of coffee unaccompanied. However one of my favourite treats is a simple, unadorned and not too sweet piece of cake to go with my cup of coffee. Step in this pecan and date loaf. It's not overly sweet but sweet enough, and while it is a loaf it's near enough to being a cake. It can be eaten spread with a little butter or even some butter with cinnamon mixed in it is lovely. Or just plain as is my want most of the time.

Date & pecan loaf
Adapted from recipe by Alison Turner – Good Taste, July 1998

200gm pitted dates
320ml water
½ cup brown sugar
75g butter
2 cups SR flour
2 tsp mixed spice
2 eggs
¾ cup pecans, chopped

1. In a saucepan over low heat, add the dates, butter, sugar and water until the sugar is fully dissolved. Set aside and cool for about 15 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 170 C. Grease a loaf pan approx 10cm x 19cm
3. Place the date mixture into a food processor and process until fine.
4. Place date mixture into a mixing bowl.
5. Add the flour, mixed spice, eggs and pecans. Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.
6. Pour the batter into the greased loaf tin and bake for approx 50-55 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when loaf is pierced in the centre.
7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the loaf tin for about 10 minutes before turning out onto a cake rack.
8. Serve spread with butter or flavoured cinnamon butter if desired.


yummychunklet said...

I like the idea of pecans and dates together in this loaf.

Di-licious said...

You're a girl after my own heart Anna - I have to have my coffee...so much so that we bought a coffee machine when we moved to the suburbs because we found ourselves living in cafe Siberia! (I wrote a post about it that you might get a giggle from - link below.)

The loaf looks great and just perfect for a mid morning pick me up. I have a particular fondness for pecans - and with the moistness of dates, I know this combination will be a winner.

Di x


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

A cup of tea or coffee is good by itself but it's made reaaally special with a slice of something like this! :D

Hotly Spiced said...

I love date and pecan loaf and your loaf looks so delicious and inviting. Perfect with the perfect cup of coffee!

Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen said...

Anna, perfect flavours to go with a cup of decent coffee - it looks light and fluffy as a cloud - which is kinda difficult to do with figs!

Helene Dsouza said...

Gorgeous rich peacan and date loaf. The texture looks great too. thanks for sharing!

Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake said...

I totally agree with the coffee loving..I also love coffee and a good cup of coffee even more! But I've only been having bad coffees lately as well...no one seems to mind bad coffees in Asia..it's bizarre. :( I also love a good bitter coffee with some form of dessert, like your pecan pie would be perfect!

marthameetslucy said...

I love coffee. I change my coffee to the season and time of day. Usually its black and hot as can be. I love, love, love dates. They're one of my favorite fruits. The bread looks fantastic.

tania@mykitchenstories said...

I get all scratchy if I havent had coffee by 10 am. I keep thinking it must be just a psychological thing but it's not is it?. I love any loaf with dates and people dont bake with enough pecans , very nice

Anna @ The Littlest Anchovy said...

My office are the biggest coffee freaks, we travel blocks from the office for a good cup. This date and pecan loaf looks like it will be the perfect thing for me to bring in for our morning tea :)

Asmita said...

That looks so inviting! Love pecans and dates and this would be perfect with a cup of tea.

Gary McCourt said...

I have to say I dont mind the odd Caramel Latte here and there, but mainly good strong coffee all the way! love the loaf!

cityhippyfarmgirl said...

Mmmm, coffee...