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Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Tea Loaf & Rosie's Muses

I just had to share with you my first daffodil that opened in my garden the other day. It must be signs of spring on the way! I really love to see spring flowers and blooms after long dark winter nights and what we have to look forward to with lighter nights and warmer days.

Tea Loaf

Close up on a slice of fruit cake

There’s something quite alluring about the simple pleasures in life don’t you think? For me it has to be a good cup of tea and the occasional slice of homemade cake. Put the two together and I’ve come up with yet another Tea Loaf recipe. My original recipe I posted was called Fruity Tea Loaf when I first started blogging. There is a slight difference to my last recipe as you will note, but both taste equally delicious. You can soak the fruit in whatever tea you prefer, ensuring you make it strong. This makes the fruits soak up all that lovely moistness and flavour from the tea overnight for the next days baking. I always have mixed dried fruit in my cupboard so I tend to use these in my bakes for simplicity. Talking of simplicity, this really must be one of the easiest of bakes to make with no fuss. With all those flavours and moist fruits, no one would ever know you haven’t slaved over making this cake.

Tea Loaf

275 ml (½ pint) of strong tea (I like to use hot tea)
225g (8 oz) mixed dried fruit
25g (1 oz) glace cherries, chopped into quarters
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
100g (4 oz) melted butter – cooled slightly
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g (9 oz) self-raising flour
125g (8 oz) dark brown sugar
1 large egg

You will need a 900g (2 lb) loaf tin greased and lined with baking paper.


The night before, soak all the dried fruits including the cherries in a bowl with the tea, (I like to soak mine in hot strong tea). Cover over with cling film and leave aside until the next day.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.

Melt the butter and leave to cool slightly. Stir in the finely grated zest of lemon and orange into the tea mixture. Next beat in the cooled melted butter, sugar, vanilla extract, egg and flour. Spoon into the prepared loaf tin and place into the preheated oven and bake for about 1 hour 20 minutes or until golden brown and or when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin before turning out. You can wrap the fruit loaf up in foil and store in an airtight tin for a couple of days before eating if you’re baking this to serve at a later date.
Note: If the top of the tea loaf is becoming to brown when baking, cover the top over with baking paper to help it from burning.


Happy cook said...

Dafodill looks so beautiful. Here it is good weather, but the forcast have said it will change on friday.
Delicious tea take, I must admit every cake you bake and post and I see them I want to make them.
I am sure you are fed up of hearing people say it :-)
But can't help it, they looks delicious

Maria said...

Rosie one lovely looking tealoaf! And I totally agree, nothing better than a slice of home-made tealoaf to accompany a hot steaming cup of tea ;o)


aforkfulofspaghetti said...

That looks like the daffodil I posted on my blog! I wasn't in your garden, was I? ;)

I love tea loaf - spookily, I was about to make one today for some folks I thought were coming on Thurs. Plans changed, though, and now they're not - so no tea loaf for now... :(

ruthEbabes said...

there have been lots of people blogging about tea fruit loaf and I think seeing yours had tipped me over the edge so I'll have to go and make one now!!!!

Priscilla said...

Hi Rosie! That tulip is pretty...reminds you that spring is just around the corner..winter don't go away yet...:)
I'm not huge on fruit cake...but I'd try a slice of yours!
One more thing - my Mom is Rosie too!:)

Donna said...

Nothing better than a slice pf cake and a hot cuppa coffee!!! NOW...are you and your family OK? We heard England had a 5.3 earthquake!!!hughugs

Bellini Valli said...

I love to see Spring flowers pop up their little heads. Cheery daffodils and muscari are my favourite Spring flowers, then next comes pansies and in the summer lavender. By the way the loaf sounds lovely too...I am getting too excited by the signs of Spring :D

Peter M said...

Rosie, this is so much better than a fruit cake, it's moist and not so dense.

Namratha said...

Ahh the first sign of Spring, always a breather isn't it :) Looks pretty.

The tea loaf looks yummy Rosie dear:)

Dhanggit said...

oh this is so sweet of you Rosie :-) daffodills and a fruity tea loaf...i just need a cup of hot coffee and my afternoon is complete :-)

Cakespy said...

I think I have found my new muse...this lovely bread! It looks as if it tastes like spring.

Rosie said...

Hi Happy, the weather has been sunny here too and doesn’t it make you think that Spring is on its way! Awe it’s always lovely to hear kind words it puts a huge smile on my face for the day! :D

Hi Maria, I’m such a fan of fruit loaf with a cuppa and your fruit loaf looks very delicious too! :D

Hi aforkfulofspaghetti, I did wonder who that person was clicking away with a camera in my garden heehee ;D Oh what a shame but perhaps you can savour making one at a later date! :D

Hi Ruth, strange you should say this because since I posted my tea loaf I’ve noticed a few tea loaves around on blogs. Can’t wait to view yours too!! :D

Hi Priscilla, welcome and lovely to *see* you here!! Oh I can’t wait for spring to come and see colour around again in the form of flowers and blooms. Awe isn’t that lovely your mum’s called Rosie too! :D

Hi Donna, oh sweetie we were woken at 1am this morning and the earthquake came from about 15 miles from where I live. The whole house was shaking and things moving around on shelves!! It sounded like a huge lorry running over cattle grids in waves. But I do report that we are aok and the house lucky enough is safe & sound too!! It is reported the worst earthquake to hit the UK in 25 years. Ok so that coffee and slice of cake sounds good to me lol :D

Hi Val, you sound just as enthusiastic as I with spring flowers and blooms. I so do love their beauty and vibrant colours. Bring it on I say ……. :D

Hi Peter, I am very happy with this new recipe (if I may blow my own trumpet) I think the extra hot strong tea makes the fruits swell so much better. My hubby prefers this fruit loaf to fruit cake for the same reasons you state! :D

Hi Namratha, the signs of spring brings freshness and new beginnings I so do love it!

Hi Dhanggit, you are such a treasure so I’ll brew the tea and slice some cake and give you a call to pop around !! :D

Hi Cakespy, it is light and a full of promise of lushness just like spring itself :D

Thank you so very much my dear friends for all your very kind words you really have put a spring into my step today!! :D

Rosie x

glamah16 said...

I'm awaiting Spring .I can envision a tea with this a centerpiece.

Passionate baker...& beyond said...

What an exotic daffodil. Love the idea of pre=soaking the fruit in hot tea. WOW...and 100gms butter is just right. Sounds like my type of fruit cake!!

Anonymous said...

The photo of the daffodil is very well taken. :)It makes me feel like it is Spring although its SO friggin hot here in Singapore. Heh...

Cakelaw said...

Hi Rosie

What a gorgeous daffodil - you are so lucky to have a cooler climate where daffs can grow well. I love a good tea cake, and this one looks scrumptious!

Rosie said...

Hi glamah16, I’m the same can’t wait for spring and the warmer weather to sit outside and take afternoon tea one weekend afternoon :D

Hi P B & B, I’ve tried both ways of soaking fruit in cold or hot tea and the hot tea wins hands down for me! Lovely to *see* you again !!

Hi curiousfoodie, thank you re:photo, I am learning and with your help it must be getting better!!! :D Oh I can just imagine how it must be for you sweltering under that heat!!

Hi Cakelaw, looking outside this morning into the front of my garden I have a whole bunch of daffodils out now and it does look pretty to see some colour. Sometimes though I do wish for a hotter climate but I so love our seasons here in the UK.

Many thanks for your kind comments of my tea loaf and daffodil pic. I do hope to share with you this summer some of the flowers that hubby and I are growing from seed at the moment.

Rosie x

Margaret said...

I love this tea loaf - haven't tried putting cherries in it though. Brilliant cake.

Mansi Desai said...

aah! that must smell heavenly Rosie! could take a piece right now:)

Rosie said...

Hi M,I think my love of cherries must be the answer to why I started to add them in a tea loaf ;D

Hi Mansi, here you go sweetie you can have a slice of cake anytime :D

Thanks ladies for your lovely comments they are very much appreciated!

Rosie x

Anonymous said...

Your tea bread looks so moist and delicious. Great recipe here Rosie I love tea bread and yours looks a real winner. :-)

LG said...

Daffodil..and I fell in love with it instantly! Dried fruits soaked in tea..ummm..very interesting. I can imagine the flavor of the tea loaf already. Loaf looks moist and delicious.

Rosie said...

Hi Jeena, you are such a sweetie thank you for your lovely comment :D

Hi LG, thank you and its so lovely to *see* you here. Daffodils are so pretty I just had to share this pic :D The tea loaf is very moist and lovely served with a cup of tea!

Thanks ladies for calling by and for your kind comments :D

Rosie x