Welcome back to pennygolightly.com, that well-known hive of industrial espionage and den of libel, defamation and slander. Actually, if you came here looking for that you’re going to be sorely disappointed, sorry. Not on the menu.
So welcome to the real www.pennygolightly.com instead where it’s business as usual: a dash of playful sarcasm and a little militant tea drinking. And cake. Always with the cake.
Last week saw me bemoaning the current lack of love for the tea loaf (something that goes perfectly with any mildly militant cuppa consumption), and it turns out that a lot of other people feel the same way too. It’s time for a revival, cake fans! From now on we’re going to have a tea loaf of the month. You know it makes sense. It’s a lot like playmate of the month, but with cake.
Our first tea loaf is also our first guest blog, so it’s a double whammy of goodness. This slice of loveliness is made by the fabulous Maggiebob. I strongly recommend that you make this cake, visit her blog and follow her on Twitter. And now, over to her.
“When the weather turns autumnal, I always start to dream about wonderful things to bake and enjoy with a nice warming cuppa. Nothing hits the spot quite like this Earl Grey tea loaf though. Sliced and buttered it is the perfect treat for any well earned tea break. This is my recipe, adapted through practice from various across the internet. You can create your own variation by playing around with different flavoured teas and different spicing.
2 Earl Grey tea bags
200g mixed dried fruit
100g Demerara sugar
250g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon each of cinnamon and ground nutmeg
1 medium egg
1. Make up half a pint of tea. I like to use two tea bags for a nice strong tea flavour, but once the tea is brewed to a strength you’re happy with, remove the teabags and add the dried fruit and Demerara sugar to the bowl. Stir well, cover with a towel and leave to macerate for a few hours (or preferably overnight – trust me, it’s worth the wait).
2. Preheat the oven to 170oC (which I think is gas mark 3). Grease a loaf tin, or line it with a paper liner.
3. Add all of the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and the spices) to your bowl of fruity tea and mix through, then beat in the egg. Spoon your mixture into the lined loaf tin.
4. Cover your tin loosely with baking parchment (allow enough room for the loaf to rise) and bake for 1 hour, then uncover and bake for a further 15 minutes, or until a skewer pushed into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Remove from the tin (when cool enough) and place on a rack to cool further.
A nice idea if you’re visiting someone for tea is to wrap the tea loaf in cling film and then brown paper, tie with a rustic ribbon and take it to them as a little gift. The loaf lasts at least 5 days wrapped up or stored in a tin – if you don’t eat it all first.”