Monday, 28 April 2014

Date & carrot loaf


I was looking for a carrot loaf recipe on the internet and this Date & carrot loaf recipe (from taste.com.au) caught my attention. I was intrigued to find it combined the usual carrot cake recipe with a date cake recipe (like my Sticky date pudding with toffee sauce recipe).

After reading the comments below the recipe, I was keen to give it a go and made a few tweaks to the recipe as commentators had suggested. I increased the amount of carrot, decreased the amount of nuts/seeds and played around with the amount of sugar used.

I have made this twice: the first time with less sugar (1/3 cup) and nuts – the second using only fruit and more sugar (1 cup). Both times was decent. Though my hubby preferred the second one as it was sweeter and more moist. It depends on your tastebuds. The first one was nice as a snack to enjoy with a cup of tea. The nuts did make it a drier and crumbly texture. The second was more rich and fruit cake pudding like.

I would make it both ways again, depending on what I fancied at the time. That’s what I like about this recipe. Not only is it simple but it’s pretty versatile and good for using up any leftover dried fruit/nuts/seeds (like my Granola bar traybake recipe). If you like it sweeter, use more sugar. Less sweet? Use less sugar. If you like it nutty, include the nuts. Only want fruit? Substitute the nuts for fruit.

This recipe produces a large loaf. I managed to make a small loaf and 5 mini loaves. My loaves didn’t need the full cooking time, as stated in recipe. I’d recommend checking your loaf towards the end, in order to avoid overcooking it.

I was looking for a loaf that could stand on its’ own without having to include the usual cream cheese frosting (for carrot cake) so this recipe was a winner for me. You can dust your loaf with icing sugar if you wish, as stated in the recipe. I think it looks pretty but this is only a temporary effect as disappears into the loaf after a while. Just leave out the icing sugar to make it healthier.

I’ve been looking for another bake (other than my Granola bar traybake) to make a relatively healthy snack for our lunch boxes. And am pleased to say I’ve found just the thing!



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Ingredients:

100g butter, chopped
1/3 cup or 1 cup brown sugar
1 cup dates, pitted and chopped
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
75g nuts and seeds or dried fruit, chopped
1 cup carrot, grated
Icing sugar (optional)


date carrot loaf mix


Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced.
Grease a 6cm-deep, 10cm x 20cm (base) loaf pan.
Line base and sides with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang at long ends.
2. Place butter, sugar, dates, spice and 1 cup cold water in a saucepan over medium heat.
Cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until butter has melted and sugar dissolved.
Bring to the boil. Remove from heat.
Stir in bicarbonate of soda.
Cool for 20 minutes.
3. Stir in eggs, flour, carrot and mixed fruit or nuts (if using).
Stir to combine. Pour into prepared pan.
4. Bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
5. Dust with icing sugar (if using). Serve.


date carrot loaf


datecarrotcake2