Is there anything better than tea and cake!? We think not. Except maybe, cake made WITH tea! 

Many nations have their own version of this delicious tea loaf, but here’s a great tried-and-tested recipe from all-round creative Jane Brocket. This cake has a lovely moist texture, fruity taste, slices beautifully and is delicious spread with butter and served alongside your fave cuppa. You can use a classic black tea to soak the fruit (our everyday brew works wonders!) or mix it up with aromatic varieties, such as earl grey or chai.

ingredients

SERVES 8–10

  • 375g (13oz) mixed dried fruit and peel
  • 250ml (8½fl oz) strained, cold tea (strong, no milk or sugar)
  • butter, for greasing
  • 150g (5½oz) soft brown sugar or muscovado sugar (dark or light)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 250g (9oz) plain flour
  • 1 heaped tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of mixed spice, grated nutmeg or ground cloves (optional)
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon

 method

  1. Begin the night before with soaking the fruit. Put the dried fruit and cold tea in a mixing bowl. Cover and leave to soak overnight at room temperature.
  2. Next day, when you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 160°C/310°F/gas mark 3, and grease and line a 22 x 11 x 7cm (8½ x 4¼ x 2¾in) loaf tin.
  3. Add the sugar and egg to the soaked fruit and mix well with a wooden spoon or flexible spatula. Sift in the flour, baking powder and spice (if using), and mix well until thoroughly combined.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and level the surface with the back of the spoon. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1–1¼ hours until a metal skewer or sharp knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool before turning out of the tin.
  6. Serve in slices with or without butter, whichever you prefer, alongside your favoruite brew! 
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