Tea loaf is a really traditional British recipe, sometimes you can find it in cook books as ‘brack’ which is its Irish name. When I was younger I never really enjoyed tea loaf much as it can have quite a bitter flavour and it’s really a fruit cake which I know isn’t to everyones taste. With no butter in the loaf itself it is quite low in fat and ideal paired with a cup of tea, smeared with butter or a piece of cheese.
It’s also a great way to use up that sad looking bag of dried fruit in your kitchen cupboard that you bought before Christmas for a Christmas Cake. In my tea loaf I’ve just used currants but ideally there should be a mixture of raisins, currants and sultanas. Instead of regular tea I also had a couple of orange chai teabags which added a lovely warm flavour to this.
As a loaf recipes go it’s really easy to throw together but does take some time, ideally you should prepare the fruit well before you need it. I steeped mine for two days for the sugars to develop a really rich flavour, make sure you use a brown sugar for this recipe as it really adds an almost chewy caramel note.
325 grams of dried fruit
175 grams of demerara sugar
150 ml of brewed tea
22 grams of self raising flour
1. Take a jug and put at least 2-3 teabags in and measure out 150 ml of boiling water. Leave the tea to brew to a dark brown for a hour or more.
2. In a bowl mix togther the sugar and dried fruit, once your tea has brewed pour it over this mixture. Cover this over with cling film and leave in a cool place for the sugars to develop at least overnight.
3. Line a loaf tin with parchment and pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees.
4. Take your fruit mixture and beat in a whole egg and mix in the self raising flour. Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 1 hour 30 minutes or until brown.