Adjust rack 1/3 cup from bottom of oven and preheat to 350. Butter a 9 x 5 inch
loaf pan, 8 cup capacity. Dust it with fine dry breadcrumbs or chocolate
(powdered cocoa). Invert to shake excess. Set aside. Sift together the flour,
salt, baking soda, cinnamon and cocoa and set aside. In large bowl of mixer,
cream butter. Add the vanilla, dry instant espresso and sugar. Beat to mix well.
Beat in eggs, one at a time. On low speed, add about half of the sifted dry
ingredients. Scrape bowl with spatula and beat only until incorporated. Then
gradually beat in milk and finally the remaining dry ingredients, again scraping
bowl and beating only until incorporated. Remove from mixer. Add dates and stir
to mix well. Stir in raisins, nuts and chocolate morsels. Turn into prepared pan
and smooth the top. Bake for about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, or until cake tester
inserted into middle comes out clean and dry. Let cake stand in pan for about 10
minutes. Then cover with a rack and Invert pan and rack. Remove pan and then
carefully turn cake right side up. Let it stand until it is cool. The crust will
be very crisp and crunchy. Slice with a serrated knife.
Note: This won first prize at the California State Fair. I've made it many
times, and it even passed the high school kid test. I brought it to school one
holiday, and the kids raved about it. They wanted the recipe to bring home to
their moms. As soon as they discovered that there weren't any prunes in there
(they were dates!), they came back for seconds. And thirds! This loaf freezes
beautifully, so you can make it weeks in advance.
Source; My Old Recipes