Last Wednesday night, I was home alone and desperately in need of dessert to satisfy my sweet tooth. It was one of those rare moments that chocolate would not cut it. Despite it being officially Spring, there was a Winter chill in the air and our little apartment was practically begging me to use the oven to warm it up, both in temperature and ambience (nothing warms up our apartment like the smell of freshly baked goods).
My former house mate is truly a kitchen goddess, making up recipes as she goes along and whipping up muffins, cakes and other sweet treats just about every weekend. I am not very adventurous on the kitchen front. I spend too much time poring over the recipe, measuring everything to the n-th degree and setting the timer rather than my house mate’s style of just going with what seems right by using her eye and taste. I much preferred eating the produce of my former house mate’s forays into the kitchen than attempting to creating them myself. Plus, it always tastes better when someone else bakes it.
This caramel walnut loaf, however, is simple enough to whip up on a Wednesday evening, without even the slightest pinch of apprehension and still have time to finish the dishes and curl up on the couch for a little Wednesday night tv viewing (Adam Hills, how I adore you).
No special equipment is required – just a saucepan, a wooden spoon and 9.5 x 20 cm (ish – a little bigger or smaller will not make a difference) loaf tin. You could ice it after it cools, but I like it on its own – the sweetness of the caramel balanced quite nicely by the walnuts. I hope you enjoy it too.
Caramel walnut loaf
- 100g butter, cubed
- 200g (1 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
- 100ml milk
- 1 egg, lightly whisked
- 75g (1 cup) coarsely chopped walnuts
- 150g (1 cup) self-raising flour
- Preheat the oven to 170oC. Grease the loaf tin and line the base and long sides with one piece of baking paper, allowing it to overhang the sides.
- Place the butter, brown sugar and milk in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Stir until the butter is just melted and remove from the heat.
- Stir in the egg and walnuts. Add the flour and stir until just combined.
- Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for approximately 30 minutes (or until a skewer comes out clean).
- Stand for five minutes before turning it out on to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Serve with your hot drink of choice. Also works well as breakfast.