Date, Fig & Almond Loaf


It's Ramadan in Cairo! And the dried fruit & nut scene is at its finest, even with the pandemic. As a result, one must put all those dried fruit and nuts to use, beyond the good-old kunafas and baklavas! Hence - this date, fig, and almond loaf; a fusion creation that's almost a cake, more like a bread, sweet (but not too sweet!) and super super moist, full of nutty caremelly flavor. And if last night attests to anything, it is the perfect pair with coffee or tea, and also makes a scrumptious, nutritional suhur :).

Play around with your additions -- the nuts can be raw, and you can use hazelnuts or walnuts (or both) instead of or with almonds; you can add other dried fruit like apricots, berries --- seeds even. And while vanilla is my hero spice, feel free to add a dash of cinnamon. It's your loaf :)

Regarding the pancake syrpup -- I use this to give the loaf a non-sticky shiny sheen at the end. it's totally optional, but you won't regret it at all if you add it.

Ingredients:

•1 cup chopped pitted dates

•1/2 cup chopped dried figs

•1/2 cup black raisins

•4 tbsp butter

•1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

•1/2 tsp. Vanilla powder

•1 cup boiling water

•3/4 cup sugar

•1/2 cup chopped almonds

•2 eggs

•2 cup flour

•1/2 tsp. baking powder

•1/2 tsp. salt

•3 tablespoons pancake syrup

Method:

•Preheat an oven to 200.c. Grease and line a loaf pan. Set aside.

•In a large bowl, combine the dates, figs, raisins, butter and baking soda. Pour in the boiling water, stir well and set aside for 15 minutes.

• mix in the sugar, almonds, vanilla, basing powder, salt and eggs into the date mixture and heat with a spoon or fork. Add flour to the date mixture and whisk until just blended.

•Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 50 minutes •let the loaf cool for 15 minutes and place onto a rack. With a pastry brush, brush the face of the loaf with pancake syrup to give it a shiny sheen.

•leave loaf to cool completely before enjoying

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