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Walnut Date Loaf

1  cup chopped dates 
1  cup boiling water 
1  teaspoon baking soda 
1  tablespoon butter 
1  cup brown sugar 
1  egg, beaten 
1  cup chopped walnuts (optional) 
1/4  teaspoon vanilla essence 
2  cups plain baking flour 
1  teaspoon baking powder 

1. Place dates, boiling water, butter and baking soda into a bowl and stir until butter is melted. Set aside for one hour.
2. Beat sugar, egg, vanilla essence and walnuts into date mixture.
3. Sift in flour and baking powder and stir until just combined.
Pour mixture into a greased loaf tin and bake in a 180C oven for 45 minutes or until inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave in tin for about 10 minutes before turning out onto cooling rack.