This is my interpretation of Dan Lepard's Marrakesh Express loaf cake. It is dense and moist and loaded with spice, with a moreish sweet and sour accent from the pomegranate molasses - a slice with a strong black coffee is a perfect way to spice up a cold afternoon.
320ml freshly brewed black coffee
1 orange, zest only, finely grated
1 tsp cardamom seeds, freshly crushed
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cloves
125g brown sugar
80g unsalted butter
180g dates, pitted and roughly chopped
180ml pomegranate molasses
120g walnuts, plus an extra handful to garnish
3 tbsp sesame seeds
230g fine wholemeal flour
2 tsp baking powder
1. Line the base and sides of a 17-centimetre loaf tin (I use a deep tin; for a shallower tin, it might need to be 23 centimetres-25 centimetres long).
2. In a large saucepan, add the coffee, orange zest, spices, sugar, butter, dates and 100 millilitres of the pomegranate molasses. Bring to the boil, take off the heat and leave to cool.
3. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees fan-forced or 180 degrees conventional.
4. Beat the eggs until frothy, then mix into the cooled liquid. Stir in the walnuts and sesame seeds. Add the flour and baking powder and mix to combine, then pour into the prepared loaf tin. Sprinkle over the extra walnuts.
5. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out almost clean.
6. Cool in the tin for 30 minutes, then turn out. Spike with a skewer about six times and slowly pour over the remaining pomegranate molasses. Store wrapped in cling film or in an airtight container.