225g (approx 1¾ cups) pitted dates, chopped
50ml vegetable oil or sunflower oil
grated zest & juice of 1 orange (approx 75ml)
250ml (1 cup) freshly brewed hot espresso or instant coffee
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons hulled tahini
150g (approx 1 cup) brown sugar
300g (approx 2 cups) plain flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon mixed spice
2 tablespoons Demerara sugar
50g (packed ¼ cup) brown sugar
125ml (½ cup) freshly brewed espresso or instant coffee
125ml (½ cup) coconut cream (ideally the thick top layer of cream)
2 tablespoons tahini
12 medjool dates, halved, pitted
yoghurt or coconut yoghurt (optional)

This is a classic date loaf recipe with a little twist. Coffee is used as the liquid component and tahini adds some rich nuttiness as well as replacing the egg, conveniently making it vegan. You can either brew the coffee or use freeze-dried instant powder. The caramel sauce is very rich and intense, so serve it sparingly.


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1.Heat the oven to 170°C fan bake.
2.Grease a large loaf tin (approx 20cm x 12cm) and line with baking paper.
3.Put the dates, oil, orange zest and juice, coffee, baking soda and tahini in a bowl, mix well and set aside for an hour to soak and to allow the mixture to cool.
4.Stir through the brown sugar.
5.Sift together the flour, baking powder and mixed spice and gently fold into the date mixture.
6.Pour into the loaf tin, sprinkle over the Demerara sugar and bake for 60-70 minutes or until a skewer comes out cleanly. Cool on a rack.
8.Put the sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a saucepan.
9.Bring to a simmer to dissolve the sugar, then let it boil for a few minutes to slightly caramelise.
10.Add the coffee and coconut cream, stir to combine and bring back to a simmer.
11.Cook very gently for 8-10 minutes until slightly thickened.
12.Remove from the heat and whisk through the tahini. Set aside to cool.
14.Use a serrated knife to cut the date loaf into slices.
15.Top each slice with two date halves, drizzle with coffee, tahini and caramel sauce and serve with yoghurt or coconut yoghurt.

Recipes & food styling Ginny Grant / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Jess Hemmings