Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray or butter your 9x5 loaf pan and, if desired, line it with a sling of parchment paper so you can remove the loaf easily for slicing.
Put the dates, butter, baking soda, salt and brown sugar in a mixing bowl.
Cover with the hot coffee.
Stir and let it sit for 15 minutes.
Whisk in the egg, extract, brandy, and baking powder. Fold in the flour and mix well.
Fold in the walnuts.
Transfer to your loaf pan and spread out evenly.
Bake for 45-55 minutes. I cover with foil after 30 minutes to prevent the top from getting too brown. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out without wet batter on it. Moist crumbs are fine.
Let cool on a rack for 15 minutes, then remove from pan to cool completely before slicing.
If you don't plan on eating right away, don't slice, just wrap the cooled bread in plastic and store on the counter or in the fridge.
To freeze, let cool completely, then wrap in plastic, and then in foil. Use within 3 months.
*recipe from King Arthur Flour
This is one loaf cake that is better eaten when completely cooled, or even chilled. The moisture and texture improve upon sitting.
If you do not love the flavor of coffee, substitute very hot water. You can also use half coffee and half water.
Toast the walnuts in a 350F oven for 10-15 minutes for extra flavor.
Try adding some spice: cinnamon, or ginger would be nice.