Apple and date cake – and birthday treats #50in50

So far, being 50 has been lots of fun….. I can highly recommend it. This weekend I had two treats. My lovely friend Wendy had a arranged a surprise trip to the brilliant Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh on Saturday lunchtime for ‘A Play, a Pie and a Pint’. What a great idea – a decent pie (various choices including a macaroni pie option….), a pint (or a glass of wine, or I’m sure a soft drink….) to take into the theatre, and a short play to enjoy. We saw ‘Rachel’s Cousins’ by Ann Marie Di Mambro, which we both really enjoyed. A lovely treat for an April Saturday.

a playapieandapint

It was a Cottage Pie, with gravy and a pint of Magners, since you ask.

I then caught a train down to one of my favourite places (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) to go to the 50th birthday party of one of my favourite people. The party was on the Newcastle Quayside and it was a lovely evening, if still a little chilly. The Quayside was quite run down when we were students there, some years ago, but over the past few years it has been substantially regenerated. This includes the lovely 1950s building on the right below – the Baltic Flour Mill, which closed in the early 1980s and was derelict for some years. Thankfully, it was converted and re-opened as the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in 2002.

One of the things on my #50in50 list is to see more of my friends and this was a great opportunity to spend some merry hours in the company of lovely, lovely people. I discovered I can still ‘dance’ till past midnight (energetically enough that my Fitbit thinks I did 80 minutes of a cardiovascular workout). There are photos, and even some videos, but I think I will content myself by using this one, slightly blurry, photo looking along the Tyne to the Millennium Bridge.

 Tyne bridge 2


All this necessitated a very simple cake, so here is a recipe for an Apple and Date Cake (pdf: Apple and date cake)

Apple and date cake


250g self raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

50g caster sugar

1/2 teaspoon almond essence

150g melted butter

225g apples (eating or cooking, I use whatever I have available), chopped into small pieces

100g dates, chopped into small pieces

  1. Pre-heat oven to 160/140 fan/gas 3
  2. Grease and line a 20cm round springform tin
  3. Mix together flour, baking powder, sugar, eggs, almond essence and melted butter to combine, then beat well for 1 minute
  4. Add in apples and dates and mix
  5. Spoon into tin and level, bake for ~50 mins until skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for 5 minutes in the tin before turning out to cool fully

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