date and tea loaf

  • 2½ cups (450g) chopped fresh (medjool) dates
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 
  • ¾ cup hot brewed English breakfast tea 
  • 150g unsalted butter, melted 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 4 eggs 
  • 2 medium Granny Smith (green) apples, peeled and grated 
  • 1¼ cups (185) self-raising flour, sifted 
  • ½ cup (90g) brown sugar
    unsalted butter, extra, to serve 
  • icing sugar, for dusting
  1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Place 1½ cups of the dates, bicarbonate of soda and tea in a bowl and set aside for 5–10 minutes or until dates are softened.
  2. Using a hand-held stick blender, blend the date mixture until smooth. Place the date mixture, remaining dates, butter, eggs, vanilla, apple, flour and sugar in a large bowl and stir until combined.
  3. Spoon the mixture into a greased 10cm x 21cm (10-cup-capacity) loaf tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for 55–60 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
  4. Allow to cool in tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Serve with butter. Serves 6–8.
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