Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Date, Pistachio and Lemon Loaf

I love a good loaf cake. They're infinitely adaptable, the preparation involves minimal fuss, they can be as simple or as extravagant as you want them to be, they travel well, they don't take up too much space... 

... A slice can be conveniently wrapped up and tucked in your bag for when hunger strikes unexpectedly...

... And it's the perfect in-between-meals snack with a cup of tea.

I was trying to think of a way to jazz up the date-and-walnut loaf and I thought pistachios would be a good substitute. 

The pistachios lend their beautiful green colour to the loaf and I also added a bit of lemon zest and a lemon glaze which adds a mildly tart flavour that goes quite well with the other ingredients.

I'm definitely going to be making this cake again soon because I really didn't get to eat much of it. My mother took some to work and it disappeared very very quickly.

4 oz butter, softened
⅓ cup caster sugar
⅓ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1½ cups flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ cup milk
4 tablespoons yogurt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 oz pistachios, chopped
5 oz dates, pitted and chopped

Lemon Glaze
½ cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon water (if needed)

  1. Preheat the oven to 180⁰C (350⁰F).
  2. Add the butter and sugars to a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and creamy.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after you add each one.
  4. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Add about a third of the flour mixture, then mix in the milk. Add another third of flour then mix in the yogurt, and finish with the remaining third of flour.
  5. Stir in the lemon zest, pistachios and dates.
  6. Grease and flour a 8x4" loaf tin and line with wax paper.
  7. Spoon the cake batter into the tin, smooth the top and place in the oven. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the loaf comes out clean. 
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. 
  9. Remove the loaf from the tin and gently peel away the wax paper. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. To make the glaze: Stir together the icing sugar and lemon juice and drizzle over the cooled loaf. (The glaze will come together as you mix but if it is still too thick then add a teaspoon of water.)

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