Place dates and butter in a basin with boiling water and bicarbonate of soda. Gently mix with wooden spoon to ensure all margarine has melted and dates plump up. Allow to cool.
In mixing bowl, combine self raising flour, walnuts and sugar, then add to cooled basin of dates, margarine, water and bicarb. Mix well with wooden spoon and add beaten egg. Spoon mixture into a lined 1 lb loaf tin.
Bake for 60 to 75 minutes depending on oven at 170 C / Gas mark 3 / Fan assisted 150 C.
Leave to cool on a wire rack. Slice and spread with butter – or eat without, it’s up to you.
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