A few days ago my mother was in the mood for some cake, so I flipped through Cakes Galore (a gift from Ana) and decided upon baking Fruit Tea Loaf. My mother loves fruit cakes and adding tea was unsual, but I was curious to see how it would turn out. To my surprise the cake took two days to make. It is not difficult at all for on day one you mix the fruits, spices and liquid together and store it overnight for the contents to saturate. Day two you add the flour and dump the batter into a bread pan-easy! My mother liked the cake, however my only reservation was that it looked nothing like the cake in the book. Now I know the cooking or baking results won't replicate the exact image in cookbooks, but my cake was really, really ugly. I will make another fruit cake for the holiday season, but probably not this one.
Fruit Tea Loaf
2 Cups mixed dried fruit, such as golden raisins, currants, raisins, and canded cherries
Generous 1/2 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup brewed tea (the author suggests using Earl or Lady Grey tea for a scented flavour, I used Earl Grey)
2 teaspoons ground allspice
Finely grated zest of 1 orange (I used 1 lemon instead)
1 Tablespoon clear honey, warmed
1. Place the mixed dried fruit, sugar, butter, tea, and allspice in a saucepan. Cover and heat gently until the butter has melted, stirring occasionally. Bring to the boil and boil for 1 minute, then remove the pan from the heat. Add the orange zest, then set aside and leave overnight.
2. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and line a 8 1/2 inch loaf tin.
3. Fold the sifted flour into the fruit mixture. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake in the oven for 50-55 minutes, or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
4. Remove the cake from the oven, brush the top of the cake with wamred honey, then leave it to cool completely in the pan. Turn out and serve in slices spread with butter, if you like.