Friday, 20 November 2009
Earl Grey Tea Loaf
So, I was going to call this 'sunken raisin loaf' and try to pull off that having all the raisins sink to the bottom was entirely intentional ;) Of course, it wasn't....amateur mistake, apparently I should have coated the raisins in flour before adding to the batter. Oh well, now I know! Still it wasn't a big deal, I really wanted to try a tea loaf - one actually made with tea, and use my favorite flavour - Earl Grey. I found this recipe on Waitrose's website and thought it looked good.
It did call for 2 eggs and as I started to think what to replace those with read in the comments that one lady forgot to add the eggs and actually preferred the bread that way! I thought, perfect - I'll just omit them then! I made other changes too, it originally called for dried fruits, I personally can't stand peel etc... so just used raisins, used regular flour and some baking powder to replace the self raising flour (which I never have) and then glazed with light agave nectar instead of honey.
Despite my raisins sinking this was absolutely lovely and perfect with a cup of, you guessed it, Earl Grey tea! Strangely I had it one day with coffee and was surprised how much that did not go together....definitely have it with tea :)
2 bags Earl Grey Tea
125g golden caster sugar
300g raisins or mixed fruits
225g plain flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon (I also added some orange zest)
1 Tbsp light agave nectar, to glaze
Place the tea bags in a large heat proof bowl and add 300ml boiling water. Let steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags, giving them a squeeze and add the sugar - stir to dissolve. Add the fruit and leave to stand for 4 -12 hours. ** as I was only using raisins and not other fruits I didn't do this for so long, I just let the raisins sit while I got everything else ready, don't think it matters** To stop the raisins sinking try draining them off now (keeping the tea of course!) and coating them in flour before adding the rest.
Preheat oven to 180C and line a 1kg loaf tin with baking paper. Add the flour, baking powder, zest and juice of lemon to the tea and beat well, stir in the raisins. It should almost foam up and be light in colour. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 1 - 1 1/4 hours, or until a skewer comes out clean. Here I have to apologize as I know mine did not take this long but I seem to have forgotten to write down how long mine took.... possibly just an hour. Keep an eye on it, it will be golden on top and a toothpick should come out clean.
Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then brush with the warmed agave nectar. Remove from the tin to cool on a rack. Best when warm and spread with some vegan margarine and a cup of Earl Grey tea :) Note, original recipe called for Lady Grey tea but any black tea could be replaced here.