Stout and Date Loaf
snipped into pieces with scissors
Warm butter, sugar, syrup and 150ml (5fl oz) stout in a large saucepan until butter melts. Stir well, then leave for 10 minutes to cool. Preheat oven to 150 C/130 fan/Gas 2. Butter and line base of a 900g (2lb) loaf tin.
Beat eggs into mixture in pan. Sift in spices, flour and bicarbonate of soda; whisk to a smooth batter.
Stir in two-thirds of dates. Pour mixture into tin and scatter rest of dates over top. Bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes until well risen and just firm to the touch.
Spoon rest of stout over cake and scatter chocolate on top. Put cake back in oven for 5 minutes for chocolate to melt. Spread softened chocolate over cake as an icing. Cool in tin, then remove and cut into thick slices.