Dig out that old tube cake tin your grandmother left you and don’t let this incredibly easy, wonderfully moist, deliciously sweet favourite die out. If you don’t have a tube tin, or you can’t find the lids for both ends (a common problem), use a 25 cm by 10 cm (10 in by 4 in) loaf tin. If you don’t have a ripe banana, add a tablespoon of golden syrup for extra moistness.
Heat oven to 190°C (375°F).
Combine dates, sugar, walnuts, banana, butter, bicarbonate of soda and boiling water in a bowl. Mix well, and leave to cool. Add sifted flour and mix well.
Cover one end of the tube tin with a square of buttered greaseproof paper, and jam on the lid. Place lid side down and fill tin to two-thirds with batter. Cover top end of tin with remaining square of greaseproof paper and jam on the lid. Lie tin on its side in a baking tray and bake for 1 hour.
Remove from oven and leave for 1 hour to cool. Run a knife between cake and tin, and gently ease out the cake. Leave on wire cake rack to cool.
© 1998 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.