Saturday, November 26, 2011
TIME FOR A TEA TIME TREAT
There's a new challenge on the blogging block, and I love a good challenge, so I was delighted when two exceptional bloggers came together to invite us to tea .... well to Tea Time Treats, and this month Karen has invited us to prepare something delicious using ginger, happy days - my all time favourite ingredient (along with all my other favourite ingredients!!!), not so happy days - I am really trying to cut down on the goodies so I can really pig out in December!!!!
So now my challenge was to make something delicious containing ginger BUT also something that I wouldn't devour (yes, that is the state of my will power these days) ........... it had to be dried fruit, loved by all the family but not by me!!!
I turned to Lilly Higgins' Make Bake Love (it's just so pretty) and decided to play around with her Tea Brack recipe, obviously adding some ginger in there, but I also simplified it by using a luxury fruit mix rather than the individual fruits she suggested - it went down a treat, and was just the stop gap needed before the Christmas Pudding Season started (the consumption of Christmas puddings in this house is a story for another day!).
adapted from Lilly Higgins' Make Bake Love
300ml hot strong tea
360g luxury fruit mix
100g chopped stoned dried dates
225g self raising flour
150g brown sugar
3 tbsp Cointreau or your favourite alcohol
1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ginger
2 knobs of crystallised ginger
Preferably the day before, but for as long as possible - soak the fruit in the tea.
Preheat oven to 180 C
Line a loaf tin with parchment paper or butter it.
Add the ginger, beaten egg, flour and sugar to the fruit and mix well.
Add the Cointreau and spices and mix again.
Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 1 - 1 1/2 hours - until a skewer (or stick of dry spaghetti) comes out clean.
When perfect remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes.
Remove from tin and cool on a wire rack.
Thanks to Kate and Karen for this fun idea.
For my Irish readers - I was invited to this years Taste of Christmas, a huge improvement on last year's event, plenty of stalls, delicious food from some excellent restaurants, including the wonderful Bon Appetite (where I did the masterclass!!). I went to the first of the Masterchef shows and although it had a few glitches, and a bit of nervousness it was quite good. It would have been very good had the audience been given copies of the recipes being cooked and if Nick had lightened up on plugging his book and restaurant!!
Well worth a visit, to get you in the Christmas mood.