Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Grease a
Put the chopped dates into a bowl and sprinkle with the bicarbonate of soda. Bring the coffee to the boil in a small pan and pour over the dates, then set the bowl aside.
In another bowl, vigorously mix the butter, sugar and egg until well blended – either by hand or with a hand-held electric whisk. Using a metal spoon, blend in the vanilla extract. Add the flour and salt and gently blend, then finally fold in the chopped pecan nuts and the date and coffee mixture. Pour into the prepared loaf tin.
Place in the centre of the oven and bake for approximately 1 hour, or until the top of the loaf springs back when lightly pressed. When the cake is ready, let it stand for a few minutes before removing from the tin, peeling off the baking parchment and leaving to cool on a wire rack.
Try serving a slice with a weak Yemeni coffee, sweetened with
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