I (Henry) seem to get landed with recipes I wouldn’t choose to eat myself. This week it was Tea Bread, or Loaf or Snooze.
I’ve never been a fan of a cake where the main ingredients are raisins (which are just grapes that couldn’t hack it in the real world). Some people spend all year looking forward to their Christmas Pudding. Some people drill holes in their cranium for kicks. Maybe these people would all get along.
The loaf concept I was ok with. Making a loaf always sounds like a hearty activity redolent of sunny afternoons in country houses. I made mine between Sunday evening and Monday evening, dragging my feet as I moved through the various stages/ already determined that I wouldn’t enjoy the end result.
As Babs would say, “Ah, sure, it was grand”.
And it was.
I’m not going to follow up with any baking advice for the kind of dessert you can find a recipe for on the Cbeebies website. Much like my trifle post, if you can’t make a tea loaf, then you don’t deserve to be the metaphorical bake-off tent.
What I will say is that I soaked my dried fruit for about 24 hours in tea, orange zest, and juice, and this gave the cake a very lovely crumbly texture. I was a little saddened that the loaf didn’t rise very much. In terms of proportion it looked more like a cake than a loaf.
I brought some of the cake into a work meeting the next day and tried to entertain my German clients with it. They weren’t fooled by its pretence as a dessert you would actually choose to make, agreeing that it was the kind of cake an old lady would get a kick out of. And they’re right.
Tea loaf is a perfectly respectable afternoon treat, easy on your gums as your dentures soak in the jam jar close-by.