Recipe 189 – Date and Walnut Traybake

My last recipe from the ‘Traybakes and Flapjack’ section of the book.  Another one all done and dusted!  I decided to make this recipe as I have had a bag of dates sat in the cupboard now for a couple of months.  There are a couple of recipes still left that require dates, so I thought I’d get this one out of the way.  I didn’t have much time (as seems to be usual of late) and it seemed quite a quick recipe.

The oven as usual was put on to preheat at Fan 160°C and a 30cm x 23cm (12″ x 9″) traybake tin greased and the bottom lined with parchment.

The first stage of this recipe seemed rather unusual to me, not something that I’ve done before.  Into a bowl I measured out 250g of dates, which were then chopped.  Nothing unusual in that you may ask.  The next step was to add 40g softened butter to this and then pour over the top 350ml boiling water.  Within seconds the butter had melted.   The ‘healthy’ dates didn’t seem too healthy now!  This had to be set aside to cool.

Whilst it was cooling I got on with the next stage of the recipe.  2 large eggs were whisked together with 200g dark muscovado sugar.  It was then time to add the date mixture, by now the dates had absorbed most of the liquid, together with 150g ground almonds, 150g chopped walnuts, 350g self-raising flour and 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon.  This was all whisked together and poured into the prepared tin.

Into the oven it went for just over an hour (Mary states an hour and 10 minutes).  By now the cake was a lovely golden brown in colour and firm to the touch.  Mine had just started to crack on the surface, so it was taken out of the oven and left to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before being removed.  The parchment was peeled off the bottom and the cake was put onto a wire rack to cool.

Once cooled, it was time to ice the cake.  Into a bowl went 225g sifted icing sugar, together with the grated rind of a lemon.  I didn’t add all the juice in one go this time (as I did in a previous recipe), I added it slowly, mixing in the icing sugar each time.  I didn’t want a runny mess again!  Mary does say to add a little hot water if needed to make the icing spreading consistency.  I didn’t need to add any water, my icing was the correct consistency by now.  The icing was poured over the top of the cake and spread out evenly with a palette knife.

Once the icing had set it was cut into 21 pieces.  It’s only whilst typing this up that I’ve realised I should have also decorated the top with pieces of walnut.  Whoops, never mind, I didn’t do that bit.

Tastewise, it was a very moist cake indeed and the dates were really nice.  I was a bit concerned that my traybake was undercooked, but I think it was just very moist.  It went down a treat with my husband, he enjoyed it and so did I, the children weren’t that impressed!

Date & Walnut Traybake

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