Here’s the recipe I tried out for my fruit tealoaf
9oz mixed fruit – I used 3oz each of sultanas, raisins and apricots
8fl oz rooibos tea
7oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
zest and juice of half lemon
2 eggs, beaten
Leave the fruit to soak in the tea overnight (minimum 4 hours) in a saucepan.
Grease, line and regrease a 1lb loaf tin. Melt the butter and sugar in with the fruit over a low heat, stirring gently. Remove from heat and add all the dry ingredients, sifted. Mix and add the lemon. Finally add the beaten eggs. Pour mix into loaf tin and cook for 1 hour – 1 1/4 hours at 170C 325F Gas 3. Leave to cool in tin for 10 minutes then remove and cool on a wire rack. Alternatively, eat straight away! If possible save some for the next day when it will be less crumbly and have with butter, jam and a nice mug of tea.
I’ve been musing over the last day or two about teabreads. I had a daydream about a teabread I used to make with my mum which came from the Stork Cookbook (!?!) and had fruit soaked in hot tea and then butter and sugar added over a moderate heat before adding flour and eggs when cooled. Baked as a loaf it was delicious with butter spread over it or just sliced, warm with a cup of tea. I began to think what these teabread style cakes would be like with alternative teas so have set myself a mission for this weekend…I’m making a Rooibos teabread. I’ve soaked sultanas, raisins and apricots in a strong Rooibos tea and am leaving this overnight for maximum taste. I found a recipe which I’m sort of adapting and will post pictures tomorrow when it’s finished!
If successful I hope to try out camomile and vanilla teabread and something like nettle and lemon. Mint might be interesting.
Here’s my Rooibos tealoaf which was really moist, crumbly and didn’t really taste very much of rooibos tea. Next time I think I’ll leave out the lemon as it overpowered the tea. However it was yummy and didn’t really last long enough to have the next day with butter and jam! I think Phil had the last piece the day after it was made with butter and he said it had firmed up a bit more. He also suggests adding malt but then I think this takes it into a new phase of malt loaves so I’ll stick to tea for now.
As part of ‘Bampa’s 60th birthday celebrations we went out for a meal in a local restaurant. We decided to make a bit of a fuss for this family meal and turned up with balloons to make him smile.
I made a coffee and walnut sponge which was really nice, very light and crumbly. Here’s a picture of three of his grandchildren helping him blow out the candles.
In addition to cakes I’ve also made quite a few pavlovas in the last year or two. They’re a brilliant invention and deserve a posting of their own really. Unfortunately I’ve only got one photo to show here but I’m sure there will be lots more to come.
Pavlovas are indeed named after Anna Pavlova the russian ballet dancer in 1926. For this pavlova opposite I used a smaller circle or oval to have enough left over for a lid. I’ve also doubled up the mixture to make a really big pavlova with a big lid for family parties.
Here’s my recipe for perfect, gooey pavlova:
3 egg whites
190g 61/2 oz caster sugar
1 level tsp cornflour
1 tsp raspberry vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
Large tub of whipped/double cream
Any fruit you like I normally use a berry mix including strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries but whatever is in season. Equally an exotic fruit pavlova is lovely with pineapple, passion and kiwi fruits.
Draw a 23 cm (9inch) oval on a piece of baking parchment and place on a baking sheet.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff then gradually add the sugar, 2oz at a time whisking after each addition until the whites are stiff again. Then fold in the cornflour and vinegar.
Pipe, or dollop the meringue into the oval marked on the baking sheet making a dip in the middle to hold the filling. Bake in the oven at 180C 350F mark 4 for 5 minutes then lower to 130C 250F mark 1/2 for a further 45-50 minutes until set but soft in the middle.
Leave to cool slightly then carefully peel off the paper. When completely cold, add the whipped cream and remaining 1/2 oz of sugar (if you want to) with the fruit and pile on top!
You could also make a coulis from some of the fruit to drizzle over.
Hettie shared her birthday cakes with Aunty Sarah again so this time I made lots of cup cakes with pink icing, glitter, silver balls and flowers. At some point I’m going to have to learn how to make the flowers and other decorations…
The cakes were specifically vanilla as ordered by Sarah. Phil took these rather lovely shots of them as we’re combining both our passions, mine being baking and his being photographing (and then eating) what I make!
Hettie enjoyed eating the icing first. Again I’m quite happy with these cakes, they look wonderful together on mum’s old fashioned glass cake stand.
I forgot to put a couple of other pictures of cakes I made in 2008 including the first roulade I made for a competition at work. I didn’t win, but it was the best raspberry roulade I’ve ever made!
Also some cakes I had commissioned for Phil’s 30th birthday party with Star Wars characters from Konditor and Cook a bit sickly to eat but great fun to look at!