Tea Loaf for the Visiting Hordes

First of all, a big thank you to you all for your tremendous support through my “technical glitch”. I know I am not the most techy person in the world, but I don´t think I´m quite a dinosaur yet, so it was a huge pain. Anyway, I think I am almost caught up on my “re-subscribing” but please do remind me if you don´t see me on your blog if you normally do.

So, back to the food!  When you are staying with a pal, especially one who needs to take a lot of naps, you get plenty of time to have a good look through the cookery books that they have and you don´t. You also get to rummage through their cupboards working out if they have the ingredients to hand to make something which has inspired you.

This was one such recipe which came from the book, The Great British Bake Off. The final (optional) step comes from the recovering pal herself who very kindly e-mailed me the recipe as I forgot to write it down before I left for home! I think I was particularly attracted to this recipe as you melt the butter and sugar together rather than cream it, so I think I could adapt this to using olive oil in Spain as butter is harder to buy and keep fresh Up the Mountain.

Ingredients (makes 1 large loaf cake)

  •  175g unsalted butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 400g plain flour
  • Good pinch of salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 300g luxury dried fruit mix (I used half sultanas which I had soaked in a small cup of Earl Grey tea and half dried apricots which I finely chopped)
  • 125ml full-fat or semi-skimmed milk at room temp
  • 2 large eggs at room temp

1 x 900g loaf tin, about 26 x 12.5 x 7.5cm, greased and lined with greaseproof paper.

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.  Put the butter and sugar into a medium sized pan and heat gently, stirring occasionally until the butter has melted.
  2. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a mixing bowl and stir in the dried fruit.  Beat together the milk and eggs until thoroughly combined, then pour into the flour mixture.  Add the melted butter and mix well with a wooden spoon.
  3. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and spread evenly.  Bake for about 1 hour or until the top is a good golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Remove the tin from the oven and set on a wire rack.  Leave to cool for 20 minutes, then gently turn out the loaf onto the rack and leave to cool completely.
  4.  Wrap in foil or greaseproof paper and keep for 24 hours before cutting. (We ignored this and tucked right in). It´s lovely sliced and spread with butter.
  5.  Serve to people visiting slightly bemused woman fresh out of hospital wondering what on earth is going on.