|spiced tea loaf|
I also have it on good authority that they are a good fuel for cyclists out on a long ride due to their combination of slow and fast release carbohydrates. Any excuse for a slice of cake!
I spiced my tea loaf with quatre epices - one of my favourite spice mixes. Quatre-épices is a blend of allspice, nutmeg, clove, ginger and pepper. It's often used to flavour pain d'epices and in savoury dishes such as pates and rillettes here in France. I use it regularly as an alternative to mixed spice in cakes and bakes.
I hope you enjoy. Bon appetit!
adapted from this recipe from the lovely Bit of the Good Stuff
preparation time: 4 - 5 hours soaking + 10 minutes
cooking time: 60 - 75 minutes
1 cup dried fruit (whatever you like or have in the cupboards - e.g. sultanas, citrus peel, cherries, dates)
1 1/2 cup strong brewed tea
1 cup plain white flour
2/3 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbs honey
1 tsp quatre epices (or mixed spice)
pinch of salt
- in a large bowl add the tea to the fruit and soak for 4-5 hours (or see my tip below to speed up the process)
- preheat the oven to gas 3/160C
- line/grease a 2lb loaf tin
- add the honey, sugar and spice mix to the soaked dried fruit and stir well
- sieve the flour, baking powder and salt into the mix and fold in
- pour into your prepared baking tin and bake for 60-75 minutes - it's cooked when a skewer comes out clean
- leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes before turning out to cool completely. Serve in slices.
- You can use whatever type of tea you like - they will each add their own subtle difference to the finished loaf. I used a traditional English tea blend, but you can use Earl Grey, Chai or Green like in the original recipe.
- You can speed up the dried fruit soaking process by adding the fruit and tea to a saucepan and bringing to the boil for 5 minutes. Leave to cool for 30 minutes before using in the recipe. This will help plump up the fruit in a much shorter space of time.
- This tea loaf is delicious served as it is, but is great with a bit of butter and jam too.
- a great way of using up leftover cold tea and odds & ends of packets of dried fruit.
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