Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Baking today

Well, that was yesterdays blog, here's today's.

On Friday I'll be heading up to Scotland to celebrate Beltaine with a group of friends. Everybody brings something to the celebrations so I've been in the kitchen all afternoon baking. It's come out quite good, despite a slight measuring mix-up (it just means there's more than I intended).

First up is 'Cosmic Fool's Tea-loaf'.
Sadly Cos is no longer with us, so it's kind of fitting to take this to a gathering of friends. I finished up with four loaves.

½ pint of boiling water (250ml)
1 tea bag (‘normal’ tea, or English Breakfast)
8oz sultanas (225g)
4oz soft brown sugar (100g)
8oz self-raising flour (approx) (225g)
1 egg

Make up tea with ½ pint of boiling water and tea bag, allow to steep. Remove tea bag and mix in sugar and sultanas. Leave to soak for at least 1 hour.
Add half the flour and mix well. Add the egg and mix in well. Slowly add the remainder of flour stirring well. Continue until the batter thickens but is still loose enough to pour easily.
Pour into an oiled 2lb loaf tin and cook at 180 degrees C/gas mark 4 for 40- 60 mins.
This always seems to take a different time to cook, so what you look for is a skewer pushed in and pulled out mostly clean (not dry – too much and not coated with raw mix)
Leave in tin for ½ hour then turn out on to a rack to cool.
Tastes great with butter or low fat spread (I like Olivio or Bertoli as it’s now called) and tastes even better the second day (if you have any left…)
© Kev the Cosmic Fool 2004

I also made an Orange and Sultana traybake. It's quick and easy to do, and is more of a cake than a loaf. No photo for this one as I'd already wrapped it for travelling.

Sultana and Orange Traybake
225g/8oz soft margarine
225g/8oz caster sugar
275g/10oz self-raising flour
2tsp baking powder
4 eggs
2 tbsp milk
275g/10oz sultanas
Grated rinds of 2 oranges
Demerara sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Grease and base line 30 x 23cm/12 x 9in roasting tin with greased greaseproof paper.
2. Measure all the ingredients except the Demerara sugar into a large bowl and beat well for about 2 minutes until well blended. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes then sprinkle the top with Demerara sugar and return to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes or until the cake has shrunk from the sides of the tin and springs back when pressed in the centre with your fingertips. Leave to cool in the tin.


  1. They look great Nigel...stupid question but does the tea loaf actualy taste of tea? Not that it would bother me as i love tea, just curious as i've not tried it before.

  2. It depends how long you let it stew for, and how you take your tea :p

  3. Ah i see, i am cringing as i say this (purely coz of the cornyness of the saying, but i like mine NATO :) I wonder if i can replicate the milk part? :)

    Looks an easy recipe though, will give that a try sometime.

  4. Hmmmm, Calv's NATO standard Tealoaf? Maybe they should use it in rat packs instead of fruitloaf?

  5. Just found came across this posting :-) I have a funny story about a tea loaf - it was back in my student days - and that was a long time ago .. made a tea loaf but forgot to strain the tea .. ummmm people did enquire what the small speckly bits were -- trouble is cannot lie so had to tell them as it was. Going to pass recipes onto my mum .. she will am sure enjoy trying the recipes out so we can all sample :-)


    Knew i was meant to meet you for a reason... will be baking a few of these at the weekend, and like you say taste better a few days old with lashings of butter real butter.
    always had to make at least 3 'cos my dad loved it too would have to bake him one.

    thannks for sharing.
    chriss x

  7. Lovely photo, looks like it turned out really well, hope it tasted great.

    I have a whole list of recipes on my blog if you care to try any.