Chez Kungfoodie this tea loaf has become the “take on holiday cake”. Last year (when my cake baking repertoire was pretty limited), I baked this tea loaf and we took it on holiday with us. It is an ideal cake to take travelling. It’s moist so doesn’t dry out or disintegrate unlike sponge. It keeps really well (should you not scoff it all in one session!) and, unlike a lot of fruit cakes, is quite light. It only requires a bit of advance planning (soaking the fruit the night before) before you make it and the rest of the method is of the “weigh a few more ingredients out and stir into a bowl” school of baking making it ideal to bake with a toddler in tow (if that hasn’t convinced you to try it, nothing will!!)
First weigh dried fruit into a bowl. Ruth suggests sultanas, cranberries, cherries and blueberries. I use sultanas and raisins plus then two out of cherries, blueberries and cranberries depending on what’s in stock at the supermarket. All combinations of these work really well. Then pour some tea on top and leave it to soak overnight. If you forget (as I’ve done before), you can soak it first thing in the morning and bake it in the evening.
The following morning preheat the oven and line a loaf tin. Stir in sugar and then beaten egg. Lastly sift in the flour and mix together. Add the mixture to the loaf tin and bake. I find it takes between 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. I check it at 45 minutes to make sure it’s not browning too quickly on top (if it is then I cover it with foil). Leave it to cool in the tin then turn it out, slice and eat!