Cakes & Bakes: Prune tea loaf

Home-made prune tea loaf | H is for Home #recipe #prunes #tealoaf #fruitloaf #loafcake #baking

We’ve been having a busy first few days of 2018. I’ve been a bit tardy again this year with preparing & filing our tax returns so I wanted this week’s Cakes & Bakes to be quick and simple. This prune tea loaf is just the ticket!

Armagnac is the perfect pairing for prunes. However, if you prefer, you can swap this out for an equal quantity of freshly-brewed, strong black tea.

Serve warm, cut into thick slices, buttered generously accompanied by a cup of tea. After my little break, it’s back to doing the accounts!

Prune tea loaf batter in a lined baking tin| H is for Home Cooked prune tea loaf a lined baking tin| H is for Home

Click here to save my recipe to Pinterest for a later date!

Prune tea loaf
Serves 8
Cook Time
45 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 200g/7oz prunes (Agen ones are best)
  2. 2-4 tbsp Armagnac
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 100g/3½oz brown soft sugar
  5. 250g/9oz self raising flour
  6. 75ml/2⅔fl oz milkHome-made prune the loaf ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/325ºF/Gas mark 3
  2. Grease & line a 900g/2lb loaf tin
  3. De-stone and roughly chop the prunes and put them into a medium-sized mixing bowl
  4. Pour the Armagnac over the prunes - it should just about cover all the fruit
  5. Cover with cling flim/Saran wrap for about half an hour to allow the fruit to absorb the liquid
  6. In a measuring jug, lightly beat the eggs before adding them to the soaked prunes and any un-absorbed liquid
  7. Add the sugar and flour and combine well
  8. Mix in the milk to loosen the batter
  9. Spoon evenly into the lined loaf tin and sprinkle a little granulated sugar evenly over the top
  10. Bake for 45 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes away clean
  11. Leave the loaf in its tin to cool for 5 minutes before turning it out on to a wire rack
Notes
  1. The loaf will keep for a couple of weeks (if it lasts that long!) if wrapped in baking parchment and kept in an airtight container in a cool place
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Cakes & Bakes: Yorkshire tea loaf

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Buttered Yorkshire tea loaf and cup of tea | H is for Home

This week’s Cakes & Bakes features a traditional Yorkshire fruit loaf. We often sit down for a tea break at about four in the afternoon – and absolutely love this kind of thing as an accompaniment to our brew. Sweet, sticky and full of good things to give you a mid afternoon energy boost.

Yorkshire tea loaf ingredients | H is for Home

There’s a very simple list of ingredients.

Soaked dried fruit | H is for Home

It’s vital that you soak the dried fruit in tea overnight – it makes a big difference to the end result so don’t be tempted to skip this stage!

Adding egg and sugar to Yorkshire tea loaf mixture | H is for Home

It’s everything in one bowl method.

Yorkshire tea loaf mixture | H is for Home

Preparation is easy so you can’t go wrong!

Uncooked Yorkshire tea loaf mixture | H is for Home

The loaf keeps well for up to 2 weeks, but it probably won’t hang around that long though.

Baked Yorkshire tea loaf mixture | H is for Home

It’s delicious served on its own or with a thin scrape of butter (thick scrape in Justin’s case).

Baked Yorkshire tea loaf sliced | H is for Home

Even just looking at it in pictures, we’re tempted to get the kettle on!!

Click here to pin the recipe for later!

Yorkshire tea loaf
Yields 2
The perfect accompaniment to a cup of afternoon tea!
Ingredients
  1. 350g mixed dried fruit (currants, sultanas, raisins, mixed peel. Try adding a tbsp of crystallised ginger)
  2. 350ml strong tea brewed for 3-4 mins
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 200g brown soft sugar
  5. 270g self raising flour
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Instructions
  1. Brew a large, strong mug of tea (we usually use loose Yorkshire tea... of course! But any strong breakfast or afternoon tea will do!)
  2. Put the mixed dried fruit into a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Allow the tea to brew and cool slightly before pouring it into the mixing bowl (it should just about cover all the fruit
  4. Cover with cling flim/Saran wrap for a few hours, ideally overnight, to allow the tea to plump up the fruit
  5. In the morning, preheat the oven to 170ºC/
  6. Grease 2 x 450g/1lb loaf tins ( or 1 x 900g/2lb loaf tin)
  7. In a measuring jug, lightly beat the eggs before adding them to the mixed fruit and any un-soaked liquid
  8. Add the sugar and flour and combine well
  9. Pour evenly into the loaf tins and bake for 40-50 mins or until an inserted skewer comes away clean. If you're using a 900g tin, baking will take about 60-75 minutes
  10. Leave the loaves in their tins to cool completely before turning them out
  11. They'll keep for a couple of weeks if wrapped in baking parchment and kept in a cool, airtight container
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Adapted from Clandestine Cake Club
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Saffron loaf

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Saffron loaf cake with a large mug of tea | @hisforhome

I’ve somehow managed to get to the wrong side of mid-40 without ever having tasted saffron, although Justin’s used it in some of the kitchens he’s worked in (he’s so windswept & interesting!).

saffron in a saucepan of milk | @hisforhome

It’s often added to rice dishes and sauces, but I obviously decided to give it my first outing in a cake!

cubes of butter on flour | @hisforhome

Saffron loaf is a traditional Cornish recipe. It’s a very straightforward bake; mix the dry ingredients, crumb in the butter, add the saffron-infused milk, form a soft dough, a short prove then pop it in the oven for about an hour.

flour and dried fruit mixture | @hisforhome

This isn’t a dainty cake. You can cut it into small, delicate pieces for a touch of refinement, of course… but we didn’t go down the Ritz afternoon tea route and had a large slice (with a scraping of butter!).

pouring saffron milk and yeast mixture on to dry mixture | @hisforhome

A rustic pottery mug full of strong tea was the ideal accompaniment.

saffron loaf dough | @hisforhome

It’s sweet & fruity with the subtle, yet distinctive, saffron flavour coming through nicely.

saffron loaf dough in baking tin | @hisforhome

A delicious late afternoon pick-me-up – a perfect way to satisfy that peckish stage between lunch & dinner.

Saffron loaf
Yields 1
Ingredients
  1. 0.1g saffron threads
  2. 125ml/4½fl oz milk
  3. 500g/18oz plain flour
  4. 10g/⅓oz dried, fast-action yeast
  5. pinch salt
  6. ¼tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  7. 250g/9oz cold butter, cubed
  8. 250g/9oz golden caster sugar
  9. 350g/12oz mixed dried fruit (I used raisins, currants and sultanas)
  10. Saffron loaf cake ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Grease a 1kg/2.2lb loaf tin
  2. Heat the saffron and milk in a pan over a medium heat until the mixture has turned yellow and is almost simmering
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt and nutmeg
  4. Add the butter and sugar and rub in using your fingertips or pastry blender until it forms the consistency of breadcrumbs
  5. Stir in the dried fruit until well combined
  6. Add the yeast to the saffron milk mixture, stir well before adding it to the dry mixture
  7. Mix until the mixture comes combines to form a soft dough
  8. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly until smooth
  9. Put the dough into the greased loaf tin, cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for an hour to rise
  10. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
  11. Bake for an hour, or until the loaf is beginning to brown
  12. Remove from the oven, leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing it from the tin on to a wire rack and allowing it to cool further
Notes
  1. Great spread with butter and/or thin slices of cheddar cheese. Have it toasted when it's a few days old.
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H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Paul Hollywood’s malt loaf

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Home-made malt loaf using Paul Hollywood's recipe | H is for Home

 

We’re big fans of the Great British Bake Off, so we tuned into the recent inaugural series of Paul Hollywood’s Bread (and put his accompanying book onto our Amazon wish-list) with great interest.

malt loaf ingredients

One of the recipes he did which I’ve never attempted is malt loaf. Whenever I’ve had shop bought (and there seems to be just the one brand available in supermarkets!) I’ve always found it a dry, chewy and not very tasty. I thought I’d give it a try – surely I could do better!

malt loaf dough in a pottery mixing bowl

Cakes & Bakes: Paul Hollywood’s malt loaf

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: Makes 2 x 450g/1lb loaves

Cakes & Bakes: Paul Hollywood’s malt loaf

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp malt extract
  • 2 tbsp black treacle
  • 25g/1oz butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 350g/12oz strong white bread flour, plus extra for flouring
  • 100g/3½oz strong wholemeal flour
  • pinch salt
  • 14g/½oz fast action yeast
  • 225g/8oz sultanas
  • 250ml/9fl oz warm water
  • 1 tbsp warm honey, to glaze

Instructions

  1. Place the sugar, malt extract, treacle and butter in a pan and heat gently until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Leave to cool.
  2. Mix the flours, salt, yeast and sultanas in a mixing bowl.
  3. Pour in the cooled malt syrup mixture and the warm water. Mix thoroughly; the mixture will be soft and sticky.
  4. Turn the mixture onto a floured surface and knead gently for a few minutes to bring the mixture together.
  5. Grease two 450g/1lb loaf tins and divide the mixture among them. Smooth the mixture with the back of a spoon so that the top is smooth and level. Cover each tin with a plastic bag so that it is loose and not touching the top of the tin. Leave for a couple of hours, or until the dough has risen to the top of the tins.
  6. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Remove the plastic bags and bake for 30-40 minutes. If the top of the loaf starts to brown too quickly, cover with a sheet of foil and continue baking.
  7. Remove from the oven and brush the top with warm honey to glaze. Cool on a wire rack.
  8. Slice and eat with butter.
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