Honey nut loaf with eggs

Honey, flour, dates
Honey nut loaf batterKangaroo Island honey cookbook, 60pp.
compiled by Mildred Wilson
Arena Publishing, Fitzroy Victoria, 1993
Cooking on page 32

This was one of about 16 cookbooks that were advertised on the Gumtree trading website in Canberra. Elieen, who owned the books, offered them for free to anyone who wanted them. I was the first to reply to her message. I picked them up at her home and met her gorgeous dogs—Scottish terriers.

We had a wonderful chat that afternoon and we have kept in touch ever since.

Just recently, Eileen passed me another bundle of cookbooks and, as a thank you, I gave her an apron and tea towel covered in Scottish terriers. Kicking myself that I didn’t get a photo of them.

But I digress. This cookbook talks about Ligurian bees, an Italian race of honeybees, that occur on Kangaroo Island. They were introduced there in 1885. The Ligurian bees on the island are believed to be the last remaining pure stock of this Italian bee anywhere in the world.

Page 32 has two recipes for honey nut loaves. I made the first one, which included eggs.

Honey nut loaf

Honey nut loaf with eggs

1/2 cup margarine
1 cup honey
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk
2 cups plain flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1 cup sultanas
1/4 cup chopped raisins
1/4 cup chopped nuts

Bread batter Honey nut loaf

Cream butter and honey. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Add milk and the dry ingredients alternately. Gently stir in fruit and nuts. Grease and flour 2 small nut loaf tins and divide mixture evenly between them. Bake in a moderate over for 50–60 minutes.

How it played out
I made this mostly as written, using butter instead of margarine, and chopped dates instead of sultanas. I usually never run out of baking ingredients, but there wasn’t a sultana in the house. As for the raisins, I used golden ones. Also used chopped walnuts. I thought cinnamon and vanilla would add a lot of flavour, but decided to remain faithful to the actual recipe.

I have no idea what size a small nut loaf tin size is, so used one regular loaf tin, and baked the loaf for 60 minutes at 180°C (about 350°F).

Kangaroo Island Honey Cookbook

I’m still laughing over how tasteless this loaf was. Boring in the extreme. I nearly threw it in the compost bin and then thought, Hang on, this might be salvageable.

Guess what, I was right. I sliced the loaf thickly and made it into the best-ever bread and butter pudding (shown below). It called for cinnamon and vanilla.

I can’t find the online recipe now, but it was along the lines of this one. So just remember that if you ever have a disaster making a loaf of fruit or nut bread, maybe you can turn it into something marvellous.

Bread and butter pudding


About leggypeggy

Intrepid overland traveller, keen photographer, avid cook—known to jump out of airplanes and do other silly things. Do not act my age.
This entry was posted in Baking, Bread, Dessert, Snack and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Honey nut loaf with eggs

  1. What a hilarious post. Starting out very straightforward about ingredients and ending up throwing the whole thing in a pan to turn a failure into a success with the ingredients you believed should have been in the bread in the first place. That is the mark of someone who knows how to cook! Had it been me, I would have thought the bland taste was my fault. “You idiot, Shari! Who told you you know how to bake?”

    BTW: Aussies and Brits often use “sultanas” in recipes, but I thought sultanas were raisins. What’s the difference? I usually buy mixed raisins – would that work for a recipe like this? (As long as I add the cinnamon and vanilla – and maybe some chocolate chips as well.)

    • leggypeggy says:

      Oh Shari, you have to stop blaming yourself about recipes that don’t turn out. I saw an article the other day that explained how recipes can undermine your efforts in the kitchen. It’s here:
      Glad you asked about raisins and sultanas. They are produced from the same grape—Thompson seedless. The difference is the way they are dried. A raisin is dried naturally, but a sultana is dipped in vegetable oil and acid, and then dried. I reckon they are interchangeable. Oh, and that was another criticism in the article. Recipes SHOULD include substitutions.
      And yes, add chocolate chips. Yummo!

      • Peggy, I finally had a chance to read the article about the real deal with chef recipes. Wonderful article! I’ve always believed that adding less or no salt is a healthy option. I’ve noticed that salt cooked in stews loses its flavor but the salt is still there – and then in you when eaten. I never add salt to pasta when cooking as any sauce is likely to have salt. Salt can be added later, if you want to overwhelm other flavors. Marco Polo didn’t do the human race any big favors.

        From a grandchild whose bubbie considered half a cracked egg shell to be useful as a measuring cup – improving works well for cooks and comics.

        The other thing I hate about cooking shows is that they fail to tell you: someone else did the shopping, someone else did the chopping, someone else did the clean up, and someone else is going to wash all ten pots and pans – in a kitchen the size of a warehouse. The arrogance of professional chefs wears me out. Which is why I like reading your blog – you don’t claim to be a professional chef but a foodie who likes to play with her food. Thanks, Peggy.

        Now I’m hungry – of course.

      • leggypeggy says:

        Oh Shari, thanks so much for your comment. I’m glad you had the chance to read the article and found it useful.

        Your comment about all the effort that goes into a recipe besides the actual cooking made me laugh. There’s no such thing as a 30-minute meal!

  2. robauz says:

    I’ll give you two points about the recipe. Firstly, sultanas are much smaller than raisins and not really interchangeable. They have a slightly different flavour, sultanas being much smaller, milder and generally more plump. Secondly, a small nut loaf tin is actually a tube like device. The cake made in it comes out like a smooth cylinder. That said, the dates should have actually given a stronger flavour than sultanas and I don’t think the type of tin would have affected the way it tastes. I’ve often been disappointed in honey recipes.

    • leggypeggy says:

      Thanks very much for the helpful info about small nut loaf tins. I’ve never had one. This may turn out to be expensive advice because I may have to go shopping tomorrow! 🙂

      I agree that the tin would not have affected the flavour—just the cooking time. Yes, sultanas and raisins differ in the way they are dried, as well as size and flavour. Yet for everyday recipes like this one, I am quite happy to replace one with the other if that is what I have on hand. It won’t create exactly the same recipe, but it should be close.

  3. weggieboy says:

    I regularly add to recipes if I feel they lack something. I’m impressed you were true to the recipe, determine it lacked something, then repurposed it in a way that saved it in a more agreeable form! I fear I would have tossed it or slathered it in more butter (yes, I would have substituted butter for margarine, too!), doused it in marmalade or a strawberry jam, and enjoyed it with a strong cup of coffee. Your approach was more imaginative and sounds delicious!

    • leggypeggy says:

      More delicious, yes, but I can’t really claim more imagination. Give me a sweet and I’ll usually want to add cinnamon and vanilla. That makes me a creature of habit! 🙂 Although I like your butter, jam or marmalade options too.

      • weggieboy says:

        With nuts, I oftentimes grind some nutmeg into the mix and add ginger for good measure. Cinnamon always is good, though I go for cardamom for a different twist. Regardless, between us, that recipe can be a winner!

      • leggypeggy says:

        Nutmeg, ginger and cardamom are all good additions. Maybe not all in the same recipe—unless it’s an Indian curry—but good choices. Yum, yum!

  4. Ilze says:

    I read the ingredient list and then immediately scroll down to verdict 😀 I don’t like raisins… but I thought – where is vanilla… cinnamon…!? 🙂

    • leggypeggy says:

      I’m pleased to report that the vanilla and cinnamon are in the bread and butter pudding. And if you don’t like raisins, try currants or chopped dried apricots.

  5. This post made me laugh! Was thinking how it looked really good and I could try and make this with some sort of vegan margarine substitute, but then got to the tasteless bit! Don’t think I’ve ever read a recipe post that has a ‘tasteless’ verdict at the end! 🙂 Glad you managed to change it into something more exciting though. 🙂 xxx

    • leggypeggy says:

      Figured I had to be honest. No sense saying how good it was and then having everyone cross with me! 🙂 But speaking of vegan margarine. I think it’s possible to replace butter/margarine with applesauce or vegetable oil. You might check out possibilities.

      • I do need to be abit more adventerous. I’ve been using olive oil instead but it doesn’t always work quite the same.
        I’m looking forward to your next honest foody recipe post. 🙂 xxx

      • leggypeggy says:

        Try 1/2 applesauce and 1/2 oil, or all applesauce.

        Made a page-32 recipe yesterday that was a letdown. Once again it needed more oomph, so I doctored it up. It will appear here soon-ish, but can’t have two disappointments in a row. 🙂

        As for being more adventurous, I suggest you figure out your favourite spices and herbs for sweet and/or savoury dishes, and then use those liberally. For example, I’m a sucker for cinnamon and vanilla in sweet, and Indian spices for savoury. Chaat masala is a good all-round Indian spice mixture. Sensational sprinkled on potatoes. If you like that sort of thing and can’t buy it, I’ll send you some.

  6. What a pity! But your solution is fantastic 😀

  7. Brilliant!!! I have a carrot and apple bread baking in the oven as I type…and the last section of your post is exactly what I needed to hear…just in case!! 🙂 I’m visiting your site because there are two bowls of mandarins in my friend’s kitchen which I must use, so looking for inspiration!! Shall message for help if I can’t find anything x

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