Having acquired a bottle of date syrup, I needed to find a recipe in which to use it. I needed something which used enough syrup to notice the flavour, but not one which used the whole bottle in one go. After a lot of fruitless searching, I went back over the Guardian recipes on Dan Lepard's site and found this recipe for Rye Apple Cake. I'd already tried the recipe once, before I started blogging, so knew it was a tasty cake, and this also made me feel comfortable about adapting the recipe a little to suit my needs.
None of the changes appeared to have a detrimental effect on the recipe - the resultant loaf was dark and moist, studded with little pieces of cinnamon-y apple. I'm not sure I could notice the date syrup as a separate flavour, but it combined with the rye and dark sugar to give rich, distinctive but not oversweet flavour. The apple pieces collapsed a little during cooking, leaving small holes above each piece, but this wasn't a huge problem.
Here's my revised recipe, with thanks to Dan Lepard for the original!
1 large eating apple - I used a Cox
1 teaspoon cinnamon
150g rye flour
50g plain white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
60g sunflower oil
50g date syrup
100g dark muscovado sugar
1 large egg
Demerara sugar for topping
Prepare a 2lb loaf tin and pre-heat the oven to 170C (same temperature for fan ovens).
Peel, core and dice the apple into 1cm cubes or smaller. Toss with the cinnamon to coat the apple pieces.
Mix the two flours and the baking powder in a bowl.
In a large saucepan, gently heat the oil, syrup and sugar, until the sugar is dissolved. Do not bring to boiling point.
Remove from the heat and beat in the milk and egg.
Stir in the flour mix until evenly blended, then fold in the apple pieces.
Transfer the batter to the loaf tin, level the surface, and sprinkle heavily with demerara sugar.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a test probe is clean. Cool in the tin.