This is a classic English teabread, a firm cake full of flavour. Perfect with a cuppa, naturally. It's from the UK National Trust's Cakes: Bakes & Biscuits (2016). It's a lovely book of traditional British recipes such as Bakewell tarts, Cornish splits, Bath buns and curd tarts. Spiced date and walnut loaf comes from Cornwall dating back to the 17th century when spices from the Orient came into Cornish ports. It is very satisfying buttering a thick slice of spiced cake bursting with dates and walnuts, and the sesame seed top adds an extra flavour depth. You can substitute the butter and flour with non-dairy spread or oil and gluten-free flour if you need.

225g self-raising flour
50g walnuts, roughly chopped
1 tsp mixed spice (or a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, all spice)
75g butter
100g brown sugar
225g whole dates
150ml water
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a loaf tin with baking paper.
In a large bowl mix the flour, walnuts and spices.
In a saucepan bring the butter, sugar, dates and water to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Pour into the flour mixture with the beaten eggs and mix until fully combined.
Pour into your loaf tin, hollow the centre a little and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for about 1 hour until cooked through (use the skewer test).
Remove from oven and turn out onto a wire rack to cool.