(I’m in the middle of trying to articulate the doll tutorial, so am posting this as a bit of light relief for me- and you!)
I’ve been having cravings for fruit cake; Christmas cake was to dense: I hankered after something moist and lighter. This weeek I received a small little recipe book from Odlums (my mother has an ancient Odlums book of which I have very fond memories been taken out to make pancakes every Shrove Tuesday) The book has recipes by Catherine Leydon, and the one that appealled instantly in my current desire for fruit cake, was the Tea Brack. I have to admit that I was very skeptical: it seemed far too easy with way too few ingredients to be as luscious as I needed; but once tasted, I couldn’t have been more than delighted. I soaked the fruit in cold tea for a day or two, then measured out the other ingredients, it only took a couple of minutes to fold together, and an hour to cook. I made double this recipe: my sister and brother in law were visiting, so we ate one, and I wrapped up the second for my fruitcake-loving parents (this cake stays moist for days and days wrapped in greaseproof paper, so a great standby for visitors or gifting. If you can resist that long)
Tea Brack (Catherine Leydon)
225/8oz Self Raising Flour
375g Dried Fruit (I just used raisins)
300ml/1/2 pint Cold Tea
125g/4oz Caster Sugar
1 Egg (beaten)
Good pinch of Mixed Spice
Place fruit and tea in a bowl and leave to soak overnight.
The following day, when the fruit has absorbed most of the liquid, preheat the oven to 170’C/325’F/Gas 3 and grease and line a 2lb loaf tin
To the fruit, add sugar, egg, flour, and mixed spice to the bowl and mix well.
Transfer to the prepared tin and bake for approx. one hour or until risen and firm to the touch (you could inset a skewer to check it has cooked through)
Cool on a wire tray; then, when cold, wrap in greaseproof paper and try to wait for two days before cutting, slathering generously with REAL butter and eating many slices with a large pot of tea.