We’re into autumn now! Schools are starting again, the evenings are getting shorter, Halloween and Christmas feel like they are just around the corner, and the Irish sun has finally decided to show its face *shakes fist*
…I actually like autumn with its more dependable weather, the sense of order and schedule, the comfort food, all the fruit that’s in season, reasons to wear oversized jumpers, the comfort food and um, the food! Seriously, Autumn is all about the packed lunches, warm soups and the cakes! Summer’s desserts are sickly sweet or you can’t eat them because of some bikini or dress you MUST wear. Autumn does not care about what size you are, only wants you comfy and happy, but still a bit healthy. This is the perfect cake for that! Tea brack is very satisfying, contains fruit and just that hint of warmth from the allspice (you can use mixed spice if you’d prepare, if you do then use twice as much) it’s reasonably low in fat/dairy free. When made gluten-free it’s also surprisingly good, still moist with a delicate crumb. If you need any excuse to make it, it’s an Irish staple around Halloween and is a perfect way to perfect your fruitcake making skills for christmas…and it contains TEA!
375g Dried fruits (sultanas, raisins, apricots etc…)
300ml Strong cold Tea
225g Self Raising Flour
125g Caster Sugar
1 Egg (beaten)
1. In a bowl soak the fruit in the tea for a few hours, preferably overnight, to swell.
2. Preheat your oven to 170C and grease and line a large 900g loaf tine, or two smaller ones, with grease proof paper.
3. In a new bowl mix all the other ingredients till just combined and then add the soaked fruits. Pour this into the prepared tins and bake for 45-60min till they are risen, firm and deeply golden.
4. Leave to cool on a wire rack. This is best eaten a few days after baking with a nice cup of tea.