1In a small bowl, dissolve coffee in hot water. Add dates and set aside 15 mins.
2Preheat oven to moderate, 180 C. Lightly grease a 13 x 20 cm loaf pan. Line base and 2 long sides with 1 sheet baking paper, extending 2 cm above edges of pan.
3In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until pale. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in date mixture. Fold through sifted flour alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour.
4Spoon mixture into pan. Smooth surface. Bake 50 to 60 mins until cooked when tested. Cool in pan 10 mins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
5COFFEE ICING In a medium bowl, dissolve coffee in hot water. Add all remaining ingredients, whisking together until thick and smooth.
6Spread over cooled loaf. Store in an airtight container.