Last night before I trod up the wooden stairs to Bedfordshire I prepared some mixed dried fruit by soaking it in some hot extremely sweet tea (me thinks this is a good way of using up some dried fruit that is perhaps getting a little bit by its best).
Today I am going to finish it off when I put the cooker on later on and hopefully produce a couple loaves of "Tea bread" for eating as a snack with some cheese and an apple or spread with some butter. In effect a cut and come again cake. I am also going to make some of the Sticky Marmalade Tea loaf as well, and I will freeze any extra loaves for future use.
My family have always made this type of loaf, primarily round Christmas when my Nan used to make them and give them to family members; a role which my mum has taken on in recent years. Ever mindful that I have someone at home who will not always get himself something to eat or snack on when he is hungry for fear he takes something that I could make a meal out of (daft bat), I thought that this might remedy this position as I know he loves fruit cake of any description. I also thought that it would be a good addition to keep in the "Tins" (i.e. the Cake Tin) in case of any unexpected guests.; as this ideal to serve with a cup of tea.
This particular recipe comes from the Be Ro booklet that came home with me the other day and is not one I have made before but the cheapness and simplicity appealed to the frugal part of me especially as it is a cake that does not use fat. Each loaf is supposed to produce 12 slices.
The ingredients for Brack are:
6oz Demerara Sugar
1/4 pint hot tea
1 medium egg
8oz S R Flour
(I also did not have enough currants so I used some vine fruits that I had to make up the quantity so I think that this loaf would be very forgiving in that you could put in what you have to hand as long as you keep to the measurements I also doubled up on the ingredients)
Mix together the dried fruits the sugar and the hot tea; (make sure the tea is hot so that the sugar dissolves and the fruit swells up more evenly)
Cover and leave overnight to stand;
Heat the oven to 106 degrees C; 325 degrees F; Gas Mark 3. Grease and line the base of a 2lb loaf tin
Add the egg to the fruit, beating and mixing it in well and then add in the flour by stirring it until well combined.
Place the mixture into the tin and bake for about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours until firm
I will let you know how I get on later on
Other recipes of a similar nature are at:
Sticky Marmalade Tea Loaf: http://tarragonnthyme.blogspot.com/2012/01/sticky-marmalade-tea-loaf.html
Right I am off to play - today is play day