It’s St George’s Day, so let’s at least mark it in some small cake based way.
St George’s Day is a day which goes unmarked in most of our calendars. It’s a shame, but it seems to have pro Brexit connotations these days. Whatever your persuasion I feel we should mark our heritage in some way and in what more of a British way could this be done than with an Earl Grey Tea Loaf. It seems frivolous to embrace a whole nation with cake, but come on, what better way could there be. Other than Gin that is, but Monday is a little early in the week to start drinking.
Now back to cake. This is one of the simplest bakes of all time, and one of my favourites. Packed with fragrant tea soaked fruit, this loaf is cakey and sweet without being overpoweringly so. It cries out for a generous slathering of butter and nothing else. Apart from maybe a hot cup of Earl Grey to compliment it. I used to drink a lot of Earl Grey before I had Ben, it was one of my top tea choices. However, in one of those strange pregnancy moments, I went off it in an enormous way and have, even after 19 years, still not got fully back on board the Earl Grey train. In this tea loaf, however, the flavours of bergamot and citrus work beautifully with the fruit and dark Muscavodo sugar and I am almost a convert once more. In fact, I happily finished off the rest of the cup brewed especially for the purpose of making the loaf cake, what a turn up. I then went on to ruin my diet yet again by eating two slices of the cake, for quality control purposes you understand. This recipe comes courtesy of the very helpful Garden Tea Cakes and Me, with huge thanks.
On a day of celebrating all things British, this Earl Grey Tea Loaf is so the way forward. Served with tea, of course. Throw in watching an episode of Downton Abbey and your day will be complete.
This post also appears on Lucy Loves this week.
Earl Grey Tea Loaf Recipe
Makes a lovely 2lb/1kg loaf
You will need bowls and a 1kg lined loaf tin
- 150ml Earl Grey Tea, hot, freshly brewed
- 200g sultanas
- 75g dried apricots, roughly chopped
- 75g dried figs, roughly chopped
- 150g dark Muscavado sugar
- 2 eggs
- 225g self raising flour
- 2 teaspoons mixed spice
Line your 2lb/1kg loaf tin and pre heat the oven to 160 degrees fan assisted.
Take a bowl and add your sultanas. Chop the apricots and figs then add these to the bowl along with the hot Earl Grey tea. Give it all a good stir then leave for half an hour to infuse.
Whisk the eggs with the dark brown sugar until well blended. Fold in the flour and the mixed spice then add the soaked fruit and any residual tea and mix well.
Scrape into your lined loaf tin, level the top then place into the pre heated oven for 55 minutes to an hour. The loaf will be cooked when it’s golden and firm to the touch and a skewer comes our clean when poked in the top.
Leave to cool slightly before cutting into large slices and serving with lashings of butter. The loaf will keep, well wrapped in a tin for 2 or 3 days.