Prune & Walnut Loaf
Nov 27, 2014
We are fortunate in the South East that although it has been rainy and damp we have not had any winds to shake the last of the leaves off the trees. The woods are covered in a carpet of gold, orange and red hues and the trees still cling to the last of their autumnal decorations. It is a heart warming sight for me. I am passionate about colour and my favourite month is Autumn.
Yesterday I listened to a podcast of the amazing Marcia O'Regan speaking about the power of colour on Natural Health Radio. She talked about why we are drawn to certain colours and how colour can help us release fears and anxiety as well as support us. The half hour interview ended with a short but equally powerful mediation using the colour orange which coincidentally was the colour I was wearing at the time…now that's synchronicity!
I 'borrowed' a few leaves from the trees in the woods to enhance the look of todays cake. I realised that I was publishing two very brown looking cakes in a row! I suppose there is a reason for this. Both the pumpkin loaf and this Walnut and Prune Loaf conjure up flavours on the tongue which are comforting and both are satisfying and filling at this time of year when our bodies are craving comfort food. I console myself with the fact that the Walnut and Prune Loaf only contains 50 grammes of sugar - all the sweetness comes from the prunes which are juicy and are perfectly balanced by the dark bitter hint of treacle (lets forget about the sugar in the treacle shall we!)
You may turn your nose up at prunes but believe me when I say that 'one slice really is enough' and makes it a perfect afternoon treat upon returning from a hearty walk, keeping you satisfied until supper time.
This has to be one of the simplest cakes I have ever made. A great one to make with the kids, as the only techniques are weighing and stirring! Just remember that the prunes need to soak for sometime before making the cake, so a little planning is involved.
Prune and Walnut Loaf
225g pitted dried ready-to-eat prunes
100g black treacle
50g cubed butter
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g dark brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
157g walnut pieces
225g self-raising flour
Place the prunes in a large bowl.
Put the water, black treacle and butter into a medium saucepan and bring to a light simmer until the butter has melted.
Take off the heat and add the bicarbonate of soda - it will fizz a little.
Pour over the prunes and cover. Leave for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 180° C
Line the base and sides of a 900g loaf tin (approx 22 x 11 x 7 cm) with baking parchment (see pic).
Stir the brown sugar, beaten eggs and walnuts into the prune mix. Stir in the the flour until all is incorporated.
Put the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for 30 - 40 mins until it is firm to the touch and an inserted skewer comes out clean - remember, if the skewer hits a prune it will not come out clean so bear this in mind.
This beautiful tea loaf will keep for 5 days if wrapped in foil.
Recipe courtsey of Justin Gellatly