Tag Archives: cake

Delicious Date Loaf

Great baking deserves to be shared with a great photo.

It’s always satisfying to be able to capture what can be seen with the eye through the lense of a camera. Unfortunatly, it’s something I struggle with when photographing inside. Personally, I prefer to photograph my food outside. The lighting outdoors contrasts with the colour of the food far better than inside – and the background, even if blurred, compliments the food’s beauty (yes, I am still talking about a piece of cake, nothing more). When the sun is shining an outside table is the perfect resting spot for fresh baking. The natural world is like a blank canvas for a masterpiece.

Besides, my kitchen is usually to cluttered for a good photo anyway.

I think these photo’s are the perfect example of this. The colours are amazing, almost better than reality if that’s possible – thanks to the camera.  The date loaf really does look beautiful basking in the light of a perfect New Zealand spring day. Are you jealous of our wonderful weather? Haha. I’m wondering how long it will last. It’s summer already, by the time autumn hits us, we’ll be heading back to blankets. But for now, I’m loving what we’ve got – it’s fantastic!

Oh and this really was quite a delicious date loaf too.  Moist, sweet and a little bit nutty. The perfect accompaniment to the day.

Date and walnut Loaf

  • 240g (1 1/2 cups) pitted dried dates, halved
  • 310mls (1 1/4 cups) water
  • 100g (1/2 cup, firmly packed) dark brown sugar
  • 80g butter, cubed
  • Melted butter, for greasing
  • 300g (2 cups) self-raising flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1 x 100g pkt walnut pieces
  1. Place the dates, water, brown sugar and butter in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and pour into a heat-resistant bowl. Allow to cool for 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 170°C. Brush a 9.5cm x 19.5cm (base measurement) loaf pan with the melted butter to grease.
  4. Sift the flour and mixed spice into a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs to the date mixture and stir to combine. Pour the date mixture into the flour mixture and use a wooden spoon to combine. Add the walnuts and stir to combine.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the greased pan and bake in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean. Turn onto a wire rack to cool.
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Benedict Bar

There is nothing better than waking up early in the morning, fetching some toast and then spending a good half hour pondering around food blogs. The only problem is it always makes me wish I was eating something better than toast.

Hello and welcome to my blog, Sixteen Cupcakes. Finally, after being an avid food blog browser for years, I finally have a place to call my very own on here. A little about me to start off with, my name is Savannah (hello!) and I am 16 years old (hence Sixteen Cupcakes). I live in the south island of New Zealand in the down-under corner of the globe – and I’m a passionate baker and food addict. Nothing gets me going more than food, cooking and baking – so, I have decided to share my baking creations with the rest of the online food community, and hopefully give back a slice of what it has given me.

As my first post, I decided to share these Benedict Bars, which I found here, http://lisaiscooking.blogspot.com/2009/04/benedict-bars.html – Lisa is cooking’s blog . It is, one of the many recipe’s that have made me drool while on one of my morning blog browse sessions – I had to make it. Let me say I’m so glad I did. The shortbread crust melted into the tang of wildberry jam and the sweet crunch of the almond topping –  I think you know where I’m going with this. It was perfect.

Do yourself a favour and do try these, you will be so glad you did. Until next time – happy baking  ! 

 

Benedict Bar

First prepare the shortbread crust:
150 g unsalted butter
225 g plain flour (All purpose flour)
4 T corn flour
1/2 t baking powder
125 caster sugar (granulated sugar) + more for sprinkling into pan
1/4 t sea salt
1 t vanilla extract

-spray a 24 x 20cm (I used an eight inch square pan, but slightly larger would also work) with cooking spray and sprinkle with sugar
-dice the butter straight from the refrigerator into a mixing bowl and leave to soften for 30 minutes; sift the flour, cornflour, and baking powder on top, then add the sugar, salt, and vanilla; rub together between your fingertips until the mixtures begins to cohere (Or, place in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the paddle attachment until it resembles breadcrumbs.)
-press into the prepared pan and chill in the refrigerator while making the topping

Bars:
100g unsalted butter
60g caster sugar (granulated sugar)
1 t vanilla extract
200g flaked almonds
3 T milk
raspberry jam (or blackcurrant jelly or whatever jam or jelly you have)

-preheat oven to 180 degrees C or 350 degrees F [Here’s a handy conversion tool: http://www.metric-conversions.org/temperature/celsius-to-fahrenheit.htm]
– put butter, sugar, vanilla, almonds, and milk in a small saucepan over low heat, and warm until the butter melts; remove from heat and allow to cool
-remove shortbread from refrigerator and spread a layer of jam on top; pour cooled, melted butter mixture over top; bake for 25 to 30 minutes and then allow to cool on a rack; chill in the refrigerator for one hour to make cutting easier

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