A great cake to have in the tin, flavour improves, lovely chewy texture after a day or two, if you can wait. You can use any dried fruit of course, but these medjool dates are really special.
2 tea bags
200ml boiled water
350g medjool dates, destoned and chopped
½ teaspoon bicarbonate soda
150g malt extract
1 tablespoon of treacle
100g brown sugar
250g self-raising flour
2 eggs, beaten
Start a day ahead, add the tea bags to the boiled water in a large bowl, add the fruit & soak overnight. Room temperature.
Next day, set the oven 170c Gas 3, line a 1kg loaf tin with non-stick paper.
Remove the tea bags from the fruit bowl, add the bicarbonate of soda and mix well. In a small saucepan mix the malt extract, treacle and brown sugar together, heat gently when the sugar is dissolved remove from heat and cool.
Now mix the fruit, all the soaking liquid, sugar mixture, flour and eggs together. When everything is well mixed pour into the prepared tin, sprinkle with a little extra brown sugar and bake for approx. 1 hour. Test with a skewer, when it comes out clean, it’s ready. Cool in the tin.