Tea Loaf

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:


Ingredients:

  • 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


Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C / gas mark 4. Grease and line a 1lb Loaf tin.
  2. Place the water and tea bags in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Then beat in the egg. 
  6. Mix the fruit into the butter, sugar and egg.
  7. Next add the flour and baking powder and stir until everything is well combined.
  8. 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.
  9. Allow to cool for around 20 minutes before you take it out of the tin. 

This cake is very moist and will keep well in an airtight container for up to 5 days. If you can keep your hands of it that is!

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