This tea loaf is just the thing if you’ve got a hankering for fruit cake, but don’t want to wait three months to eat it! Lovely plump juicy raisins, dates and glace cherries soaked in citrus Lady Grey tea makes every mouthful a pleasure. Another dottycakegirl original recipe, I really love this one and did I mention it’s fat free? Great! That gives you free rein to lather it in butter. You can thank me later.
This recipe requires a little bit of prep in that ideally you should soak your fruit overnight, but if like me you’re impatient and maybe a little bit last minute then there’s a short-cut version. The real secret to this recipe is using good quality dried fruit, I know it’s more expensive but it makes for such a nicer, juicier cake. If you’ve not got Lady Grey teabags you can substitute them with Earl Grey, Breakfast Tea or plain old PG- whatever you fancy.
The stars of the show
- 200g Jumbo raisins
- 150g Dried dates chopped
- 100g Glace cherries chopped
- 70g Dried citrus peel
- 150g Plain flour
- 60g Ground almonds
- 1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
- 3 Large eggs
- 150g Dark brown soft sugar
- Zest of 1 orange
- 6 Lady Grey teabags
- 400ml Water
Choose which method you would prefer to follow:
a. The night before; boil 400ml of water, place your teabags in it and leave to brew. Allow the liquid to cool. Put the raisins, dates, glace cherries and citrus peel in a large bowl, remove the teabags and pour the liquid over the dried fruit. Cover with clingfilm and put to one side.
b. An hour before; boil 400 ml water, pop your teabags in and leave it for five minutes to brew. Put the raisins, dates, glace cherries and citrus peel in a medium sized pan, pour the tea over it (teabags removed) and simmer for twenty minutes. Leave to cool for fifteen minutes before using.
Working the magic
- Pre-heat your oven to 160°c.
- Drain the soaked fruit and put to one side.
- Line your baking loaf.
- In a large bowl mix the eggs and brown sugar with a whisk.
- Stir the bicarbonate of soda into the plain flour and almonds, and sift over the eggs and sugar, combine with a metal spoon until just mixed.
- Stir in the orange zest and dried fruit.
- Pour into your baking tin and place in the oven.
When I baked this it took about one hour and fifteen minutes, but check it after 45 minutes, all ovens vary. If you find it’s browning too much after 45 minutes, loosely place some tin foil over the top of it. A skewer should come out clean but a bit sticky due to all the fruit in it. Leave it to cool in the tin for fifteen minutes before placing it on a wire rack. Wrap it up well in clingfilm and foil, and store it in an airtight container. It should keep well for three days- if it lasts that long!
The cake itself should be quite dense and heavy with the fruit spread evenly throughout, and just a hint of the tea and citrus. Since you’ve made such a lovely cake why don’t you get that vintage china out the cupboard, put out some doilies, invite the besties over and serve it with a lovely pot of tea! Or if it’s past noon; a G & T with ice and lemon… Happy times!
Happy baking and remember to share your photos!!!
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