I’ve been anticipating the release of Sweet, a baking and dessert cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh, for months now. When I got it a few weeks ago, we flipped through it, leaving Post-It stickies for recipes we wanted to try at some point. Oddly enough, there wasn’t anything that jumped out at me as a “must-try” right now. For a weeknight project, this quick bread was easy, and proved to be a stellar snack.
The recipe actually calls for baking this quick bread in a cleaned-out tin can (like the kind used to hold canned legumes), so the loaf comes out cylindrical. There are three such recipes in the book, but collecting the required number of empties will take some time. Fortunately, the batter also fits into a more common loaf pan.
The batter begins with gently heating Medjool dates, butter, water and sugars until everything has melted. I read ahead and realized I could just mix the batter right in the cooled pot. So the eggs, flour mix, nuts, etc. went right into the saucepan, so you don’t have to wash an extra bowl. The only change I made was to reduce the sugar slightly, since bananas plus dates is already plenty sweet. In my 8½⨉4½” loaf pan, I needed 48 minutes before the centre of the loaf was fully baked. The top was a deep golden brown, but not dry or burnt.
The trio of date, walnut and banana goes well together and the cake keeps very well. I let it sit overnight partially covered, and it still tasted moist the next afternoon. We look forward to trying many more recipes from Ottolenghi’s latest book!