Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rum Date Nut Bread (Yum!)

Here is my recipe (adapted from Williams Sonoma):

1 cup pitted dates, roughly chopped
3 Tbs. rum
1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
1 1⁄2 tsp. baking soda
1⁄4 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
3⁄4 cup warm water
1⁄4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1⁄2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour and 1 cup all purpose)

Preheat an oven to 325°F. Generously butter an 8 1⁄2-by-4 1⁄2-inch loaf pan. In a small bowl, soak the dates in 1 Tbs. of the rum for about 10 minutes. In a large bowl, using a large rubber spatula, stir together the dates, walnuts, baking soda, salt, melted butter and water until combined. Mix in the sugar and eggs, then the flour. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the cake is puffed and browned, and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool completely. Run a table knife around the edge of the pan and turn the cake out onto a serving plate. Turn it right side up. Spoon the remaining 2 Tbs. brandy, a little at a time, over the cake so that the cake absorbs all of it. Serves 8 to 10. Note: This sturdy cake is ideal for shipping as a gift. The brandy not only adds flavor but also helps preserve the cake.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Cake, by Fran Gage (Simon & Schuster, 2003).

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