Frankly I don't think you can beat a tea loaf, especially one which is Earl Grey scented. This very British bake is great for taking on picnics or in school lunch boxes and the like, it is also better after a couple of days wrapped and stored in an airtight tin.
To ensure a moist tasty cake please soak the dried fruit for at least a couple of hours in the tea so it doesn't rob the cake of its moisture whilst baking, this is particularly important if you are baking gluten free. I have been experimenting recently with mixing my own gluten free flour rather than relying on ready mixed and must say that I am impressed with the results being achieved.
Earl Grey tea dates from the 1830's and is reputed to be named after the Prime Minister of that time, a black tea with the addition of the oil of the bergamot orange.
What you need
- 275g Dried mixed fruit (raisins, sultanas, cranberries, apricots are all lovely)
- 125ml strongly brewed Earl Grey tea
- 90g softened butter or quality vegetable margarine
- 125g golden caster sugar
- 180g plain gluten free flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp xanthum gum
- 125ml warmed skimmed milk ( I use the microwave)
- 2 eggs - free range
1 x 2lb loaf tin base lined or use a liner (I pick them up from the local £1 shop)
What you do
- Soak the fruit in the strongly brewed Earl Grey tea for at least 2 hours
- Once the fruit is soaked and swelled then you are ready to bake
- Pre heat the oven to 160c
- Beat the softened butter and sugar together in a large bowl or use a mixer.
- Once soft light and fluffy add the rest of the ingredients except the dried fruit
- Mix until well combined, then fold in the dried fruit
- Pour into the prepared tin and place in the oven
- Bake for 50 -60 minutes, the cake is ready when a skewer inserted comes out clean
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then cool fully on a wire rack
- Once fully cool wrap in foil to store
- Fabulous serve buttered or on its own.
As this cake is perfect picnic food I am linking up to Tea Time Treats whose theme this month is PICNIC FOOD, a blog challenge hosted by Lavender and Lovage and Hedgecombers.