As a farmers wife, it would have been a favourite at the afternoon tea table. All those hard working, hungry men who start work so early in the morning and seem to need continual feeding. It is a good staple family or lunch box, morning or afternoon tea cake. Nothing fancy and very simple.
I do find with a lot of these old fashioned cakes they don't rise a lot. That is fine because they do taste delicious.
It is best eaten warm with butter. If you choose to make it a little more fancy, then ice it with a thick buttery lemon or orange icing. It is also delicious with a really thick creamy yoghurt.
1 1/2 cup chopped dates
125 grams butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1/4 teaspoon bicarb soda
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
Chop the dates in half and place 1 cup in a bowl with the sugar. Leave 1/2 cup chopped dates till later.
Put the butter and water into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
Pour over the dates and sugar and mix well.
Cool slightly and add the beaten egg.
Fold in the sifted flour and bicarb soda, and coconut.
Line a loaf tin with glad bake or grease well. Pour the mixture into the tin and finally scatter over the remaining 1/2 cup dates. They will sink into the mixture, hopefully, not too far down.
Bake at a moderate 160-175 depending on your oven for about 40 minutes.
Turn it out to cool slightly.
Put the kettle on to boil. Make a pot of tea.
Slice the cake. Spread with lashings of butter and enjoy with your cup of tea. Yum !