A soft, fruity tea loaf, flavoured with English Breakfast Tea. The recipe comes from Henrietta Norton, of the Rare Tea Company, who uses Lost Malawi tea and says the bread is excellent sliced and buttered with a cup of the same blend. The recipe can be easily adapted for gluten-free or vegan diets.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes, plus overnight
Cooking Time: 50 minutes
For the fruit
50g natural glace cherries
½ pint Lost Malawi or English Breakfast tea made with 3 teaspoons of loose leaf tea
Grated rind of one orange
4 tablespoons runny honey
For the cake
2 eggs, beaten
450g 85% self-raising flour
50g melted butter
For the topping
1 tablespoon runny honey
50g Demerara sugar
50g chopped walnuts
Chop the cherries and wash the fruit, and place in a large bowl. Add the strained tea, orange rind and the honey, mix, cover and leave to stand overnight.
Next day, preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin.
Add the eggs, flour and melted butter to the fruit and stir well. Spoon the mixture into the tin, level the top and place on the lower shelf of the oven.
After 50 minutes, remove the cake from the oven, brush the top with the honey and sprinkle with the sugar and nuts. Return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.
Leave in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn on to a cooling rack, remove the lining paper and leave to cool.
When completely cold, wrap in greaseproof paper and store in an airtight tin for 3-4 days.
For a vegan version, replace the eggs with 3 tablespoons apple purée, the melted butter with a good quality margarine and the honey with maple syrup.
For a gluten-free option, use a gluten-free flour. You may need the juice of half a large orange to loosen the batter.
Omit the nuts, as needed.