Tea Loaf, not to be confused with Tea Cake is a light and juicy fruit cake. The dried fruit is re-hydrated by being simmered in black tea, giving the cake a simultaneously rich and zingy flavour.
I must confess I actually hate fruit cake; I’m not really a fan of raisins and I personally really dislike the way dried fruit tastes when it’s been soaked for days and baked into a cake for an eternity in a slow oven. But my husband loves this kind of cake, so for anyone else who enjoys a light and fragrant fruit cake to nibble on over a cup of tea in the afternoon sunshine, here is my recipe:
- 300g mixed dried fruit
- 225g water
- 4 tea bags (I prefer Earl Grey, but any black tea will do)
- The juice and zest of 2 lemons
- 100g of sugar
- 50g butter
- 1 egg
- 225g flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C / gas mark 4. Grease and line a 1lb Loaf tin.
- Place the water and tea bags in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Add the lemon juice and zest followed by the dry fruit. Simmer the whole mix for about 5 minutes, then remove from the heat. Take out the tea bags and discard.
- Set the pan aside for a minimum of 15 minutes to cool. Whilst the mixture is cooling, the fruit will absorb the tea and lemon.
- In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Then beat in the egg.
- Mix the fruit into the butter, sugar and egg.
- Next add the flour and baking powder and stir until everything is well combined.
- Pour the batter into your prepared loaf tin and bake in the centre of your oven for around 1 hr. When the cake is ready it will be dark and bronzed on top and a skewer should come out clean.
- Allow to cool for around 20 minutes before you take it out of the tin.