Cup of Tea Cake: a vintage loaf cake recipe
I received an email from a tea-loving colleague recently entitled “challenge Gill”. Now, before you suffer horrific mental images of turquoise jumpsuits (possibly back in fashion now?) I shall explain….
Mr-Tea’s flatmate works for the Red Cross and found the recipe in their archives. The challenge was to see if the recipe worked with its slightly vague measurements. I was more than happy to oblige and the results were rather good. I stuck rigidly to the recipe this time, but I have noted a few tweaks below that I would recommend if you are going to give it a go.
Here’s the original recipe from a Mrs Mary Durham of Roydon, Essex:
This is not your normal dense tea loaf and because the fruit is soaked it is extremely plump and juicy. Whilst the recipe suggests slathering it in butter I would deign to venture that it is moist and sweet enough to be better without.
I used an Americn 1cup measure just because it was what I had to hand but I think a normal mug would give a similar amount. I get the feeling that this recipe is quite forgiving, so I wouldn’t worry too much about mug/teacup size. I also fast tracked the fruit by heating it up in the tea and then leaving it for an hour. I nicked this trick from The Pink Whisk’s recipe for mincemeat.
I would use less sugar next time (3/4 cup probably) and use soft brown sugar or a mix of dark and light brown as I thought the cake was a little on the sweet side.
I fancy trying this with different types of tea. Earl Grey? Or maybe I could go to extremes and get some Lapsang Suchong in there.
Cup of Tea Cake
Use the same cup throughout
2 cups of mixed dried fruit inc. candied peel
1 cup of sugar [ I’d use 3/4 cup of soft brown sugar]
1/2 pint strong brewed tea
2 cups of self raising flour
Stir the sugar in with the fruit and soak it in the tea overnight [or heat it gently in the tea and then leave to cool for an hour if you want to speed it up]
Stir the fruit mixture, then add the flour and beaten egg and mix well.
Pour into a loaf tin and bake for 1 hr at 175c / 350 f / Gas 4
So, challenge complete. Take that, Anneka.
I am entering this into Dom’s Random Recipe Challenge as I think an old recipe thrust upon you by a colleague is about as random as it gets.