This coffee cake or quick bread has been a festive season favorite of my boon companion and me ever since I clipped the recipe from a December issue of the Finnish home design and food magazine Koti ja keittiö several years ago and gave it a try. Since then I have baked it something like a dozen times.
It is incredibly easy to bake and tastes great, especially with a cup of tea or coffee or cocoa amid the now nearly perpetual gloom of the slushy southern Finnish winter.
I am glad I clipped the recipe way back then, because the magazine’s website doesn’t seem to have a recipes archive. Fortunately, a smart looking blog entitled Idealista.fi has preserved the recipe for posterity in Finnish.
I have englished it, below, using standard English measures as well, rather than the metric measures used in Finnish recipes and cookbooks.
Finnish Festive Season Almond Date Bread
|Approx. 1 2/3 cups||White baking flour|
|1 ½ tsp||Baking powder|
|6 Tbsp||Sugar or fructose|
|1 tsp||Coriander powder|
|Zest||Lemon (one whole)|
|Approx. 1 ½ cups||Dates, fresh, pitted, chopped|
|Approx. 1 cup||Almonds, flaked (NB. This is my substitution.)|
|½ cup||Butter or margarine|
|2 or 3 pats||Butter or margarine, for greasing bread pan|
1. Measure the flour, baking powder, and spices, including the lemon zest, into a large mixing bowl and mix them lightly but thoroughly.
2. Chop and pit the dates if you have not already done it. It is up to you to decide how finely you want to chop the dates. I leave the almonds flakes whole, as they come out of the packapge, but you might want to give them a rough chop as well. In any case, set aside a small amount of the chopped dates and almond flakes for sprinkling on top of the bread just before it goes into the oven.
3. Melt the butter or margarine that goes into the bread dough. Add it and the milk to the mixture in the mixing bowl. Finally, add the eggs and mix the whole kit and caboodle until you have a smooth dough.
4. Grease a small rectangular bread pan. Spoon the dough into the pan and spread it around more or less evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle the surface with the dates and almond flakes you set aside earlier.
5. Bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for around 45 minutes to an hour. When the bread is done, let it cool for a while before serving.
Freely translated, tested, and photographed by Living in FIN