Red Flag….and thanks…

I’m quite sure by now there is a big red flag next to my name at the post office. For over the months I have received many a package from some pretty far away places. From Singapore to New Zealand and today, Brazil. Not to mention the mail and packages I get regularly from Canada. With all this International packaging coming my way, we can all bet I am on some list…..and not a good list. :) Food bloggers are amazing people, so very kind. I mean even the dish towel this loaf is sitting on came from a food blogger as a gift! I truly don’t deserve such nice things from such nice people.
While walking through the store the other day I ran across date sugar. $12 date sugar. And the consumer in me just had to have it. Why? Because I didn’t have it. And had never tasted it. No wonder my husband cringes at our grocery bills. :P I wasn’t really sure what I would do with this. So when pouring over cookbooks one weekend I saw a recipe for a date and walnut loaf. I didn’t have any dates but hey! I had date sugar. A quick substitution of dried cherries for dates and a little date sugar produced a very dense and yummy quick bread. Though, not all that quick when you have to sit around and wait for the ingredients to bath in boiling water. But much quicker than yeast bread.
I’m glad I bought the date sugar. It certainly adds a new dimension of flavor to the bread. Next I am thinking some sort of molasses and date sugar something…just not sure what that something will be.
Again, I want to thank every food blogger and reader out there who has been generous enough to send me a pick me up from your end of the world. Thanks to Patricia for sending me a fabulous house warming gift..I actually got misty-eyed and my husband made fun of me for it. :)

Date Sugar Dried Cherry and Walnut Loaf

1 cup dried cherries
¾ cup roughly chopped walnuts
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ + 1/8 cup boiling water
3 TBSP unsalted butter
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup date sugar(use brown if you do not have date)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups cake flour
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350F.
Lightly grease a loaf pan, approximately 8 ½ x 4 ½  x 2 inches with butter.
Mix the cherries, walnuts baking soda, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Then stir in the boiling water and the butter. Let sit for 20 minutes.
Sift the sugar and flour together into a small  bowl. Lightly whisk the vanilla and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the flour and sugar into the egg mixture in 3 additions. Fold in the cherry and nut mixture, making sure the ingredients are well combined. The final mixture will be thick.
Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour. Check with a knife or wooden skewer after about 50 minutes. Don’t worry if a little piece of the cherries and some moisture stick to the tester. It’s better to take it out early then risk overcooking the loaf.
Take out of the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Source: Adapted from The Ace Bakery Cookbook by Linda Haynes, 2003

Comments

  1. I also have to buy the things which I don’t know and haven’t tasted yet…

    That loaf looks very yummy! A great combination of ingredients!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. That sounds wonderful… you know, I have never seen date sugar in the store. It sounds rich and dark and caramel-y. I will keep my eyes open for it for sure! Love the photos as always!

  3. wow this looks so moist and yummy. I’ve never sen date sugar, I wonder could I make it though like I make vanilla sugar and very finely grind it in the food processor??? must give it a try!

  4. Thank you for sharing the recipe! Love the combination of ingredients – I’m going to try this for sure.

  5. I absolutely LOVE date sugar – I personally think that it has a more robust flavor, and is a wonderful addition to baked goods (especially marvelous ones like your Date Sugar, Dried Cherry & Walnut Loaf – yum!!)

    How lovely of your fellow bloggers to send you such thoughtful gifts!! :0) I’d love to send you something as well, since I’ve been following your blog for quite some time now, and have seriously developed an even greater passion for/appreciation for the art of baking and food-photography, because of it.

  6. I have never seen date sugar. The loaf looks great and I definitely know what you mean about grocery bills getting scorned at.

  7. I feel you pain with the grociery bill and hubby. Well maybe I should say my hubb feels your pain..anyhoo. The loaf looks fantastic! I will have to keep my eye out for date sugar. Mmmmm.

  8. Wow, that loaf looks divine! I’ve never actually tasted date sugar, but I’ve been on the lookout for ages. How lucky that you would just stumble across it like that.

  9. Mmm, this look so moist and delicious! Yum! Anything with dried cherries gets me. :)

  10. I’m the say way when I cruise the aisles. I may have a stack of bills but if its new to me, I have to try it. You’re so lucky. Its great to receive pacakges from afar.

  11. my husband and I both cringe at our grocery bills….i’m just thankful my hobby is something that is also technically a basic human need…this bread looks delicious

  12. Food bloggers are the best! I, too, buy weird things before I have any recipe to try them on, just because they sound interesting. Looks like your loaf recipe is a keeper!

  13. Wonderful, and too funny… I would have bought it too. And my hubby makes similar grimaces about my grocery bills. Looks like it made for a good bread!

  14. This is one of those kinda savoury cakes that I’m quite fond of. Thanks for the recipe!

  15. I hear you about buying random stuff at the grocery store! Yesterday I came home from the weekly trip and bragged that I spent under $100, but when pressed I had to admit I spent $99.30! There is just always something new to try :)

  16. Date sugar? I would have bought it too. I love discovering new things in the supermarket. Luckily, my husband doesn’t pay much attention to the supermarket receipts.

  17. Never seen date sugar either….But if I do, this recipe is first to try! :) Looks fabulous!

  18. I really think food bloggers ARE some of the nicest people out there. I think I prefer them over my own friends.
    The loaf looks great. I haven’t seen date sugar around here.

  19. My goodness Peabody that is one serious looking gorgeous bread even without yeast! Love the whole chunks of fruit (cherry!) inside. Lovely.
    Gorn also thinks there’s too much of our budget goes to food. Yes, how guilty I am of buy those things I’ve never heard of and no idea what to do with them . . . but when they turn out like this it’s so worth it!

  20. haha! I’m the same way- if i see something I’ve never used before- I must have it! The bread looks really good! :)

  21. Date sugar…never seen that, either. I have a shop near me which sells all kinds of different flour – rice, chickpea, garam, etc – and I’m always intrigued by what they might do.

  22. The exchange of food and gifts among bloggers, informally and through organized programs like Blogging-by-Mail, is one of the very best thing about food blogging!

  23. This looks SO good. I love dates and I love cherries. I have to try this.

  24. Mmm that loaf looks so dense and moist. I’ve never seen date sugar but now I’ll be on the look out for it!

  25. Date sugar, that’s the first I’ve heard of it. This looks so yummy – full of good stuff!

  26. the fruit looks perfect in the bread! Awesome job!

  27. I’m glad you finally received it, Pea – I was so anxious about it. :)
    And you do deserve all the nice things that come your way.

  28. first of all, i love your blog!!

    date sugar sounds fabulous! you could use it for so many things, both sweet and savory. i’m totally the same way, in that i’ll buy odd looking things at the supermarket out of irresistible curiosity. it’s totally normal :-)

  29. The food blogging community is like no other, isn’t it?
    Your bread looks tasty!

  30. Wow, such a coincidence. Blogged about dates today, too. Your bread looks yummy…will have to make it soon.
    I’ve awarded your blog and “E for Excellent”. Go to my Feeding My Enthusiasms site at http://feedingmyenthusiasm.blogspot.com to see the post. You were an easy first choice :)

  31. Here the only sugar that my dad will accept as a sub for his “cassonade” (Belgium brown sugar) when he comes to visit is date sugar. I just love poking my nose in the package! It is great rubbed on some chicken before roasting, adds a nice sweet/savory crust to the bird. The loaf looks wonderful!

  32. I’ve never even heard of date sugar – what a fun find! The bread sounds amazing. And I agree – food bloggers are the best people out there!

  33. I always have dates in the pantry for eating as snacks year round, but I’ve never noticed date sugar at the store. I’ll have to keep an eye out because that sounds awesome.

  34. This is an awesome combination! Dates are my favorite!

  35. i’ve never seen date sugar before, i’m intrigued.

    how long do i have to be a foodblogger before i start getting presents in the mail? i want presents.

  36. That is a pretty tea towel. I’ve never seen date sugar so now I’m on the lookout for it.

  37. I love it! I am sort of like you with the exception that I buy things and never use them. Mostly cake decorations; beautiful sugar flowers and cupcake liners. I just like looking at them. I’m glad you had the courage to use your date sugar. :)

  38. Never knew about the date sugar, will keep my eye open next time when i go for shopping to see this :-)
    You indeed have lot of wonderfum friends around the world

  39. Wow, this sounds fantastic — and very much my style. Yum!

  40. date sugar? cool! i love dates…would love to try this

  41. knittingfreak says:

    After looking at your blog I just wanted to run down my stairs and make some doughnuts or cupcakes.

  42. I had never heard of date sugar til now. Sounds yum.

    What a very photogenic tea towel you have there – a lovely gift.

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