Nigel Slater's cake recipe recently, which was loosely based on traditional proportions of fat, sugar and flour, I decided that maybe I've been too experimental recently and that a return to more traditional cakes would ensure better results.
This was also partly prompted by re-finding an old Delia Smith book - Book of Cakes - which I'd dropped into the bottom of a crate while clearing out my mother's house. I've just got round to emptying out the crate here, four months later! Looking through the book, which I think was published in 1988, I found several recipes which I've bookmarked to try, but all required some additional ingredients before I could bake.
Apricot, Apple and Pecan Loaf recipe from her website is similar, except that a small apple, 110g walnuts and 75g dates are used instead of the larger quantities of apricots, pecans and apple - the old recipe is much more frugal with it's additions. There is also no cinnamon in the Date Loaf, and no sugar topping - I said it was frugal! The old recipe also uses soft margarine, but I substituted very soft butter - there are limits!
The plainer Date Loaf cooks in an hour, but as I divided the batter between two small loaf tins, they were cooked in 50 minutes. I used some very lush sticky dates, which, with the apple, made the cake moist and chewy and also gave it a spicy toffee flavour. This seasonal cake was a real treat of old fashioned flavours which are often overlooked these days.