Wednesday, June 16, 2010


This cake is a real favourite here and I make it regularly, then I go searching for the new and glamorous (!), but I always come back to the old faithful.  This recipe has many things going for it - A.  it keeps beautifully, (which is good because) B.  it makes three  fruit loafs, C. it is practically fat free (just whatever fat is in the egg yolks) and finally D. I don't like tea or most dried fruit, so there is no danger of me pigging out on it!!!!!!

The recipe comes from the Avoca Cafe Cookbook (2) - you should just see the state of this page in my book!!!  You do need a bit of preparation for these cakes, as you leave the fruit to absorb the whiskey and tea overnight - but this is really worth while as it makes them so moist .

I'm going to visit S (who has had her gall bladder operation) and will bring one of these along - a cake that is very low fat, tastes good, AND is healthy - with all that fruit ( if you forget about the sugar!), possibly the perfect "Get Well Soon" gift  (she says hopefully!!!).

This is the recipe as it has evolved:

Fruit Loaf

400g               brown sugar
2 1/2  cups      hot tea
1/2     cup       whiskey
450g               luxury mixed fruit
350g              sultanas or raisins
100g              cherries (glace)
3                    eggs
250g               plain flour
200g               wholemeal flour
3 tsp               baking powder
1tsp                cinnamon
2 tsp                mixed spice

Dissolve the sugar in the hot, strong tea. *
Add the whiskey and then the fruit.
Soak overnight.
Next day preheat the oven to 170 C.
Prepare three loaf tins (900g) with baking paper.
Mix the eggs, flour, cinnamon, mixed spice and baking powder to the fruit mixture.
Pour into the prepared tins.
Bake for one hour.
When cooked a skewer will come out clean.
Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

* I usually use loose tea, but if I use bags I leave them in the fruit overnight (to get maximum flavour) if you do this it is VERY IMPORTANT not to forget to take them out before baking as it is very embarrassing to cut into a cake and find a tea bag (she says with a red face!) in the slice you are about to serve.


Manu said...

Oh, I love it, the pic so so beautiful! Well done.
Have a nice day

Prema said...

Wow very nice cake,Luks very soft...

Unknown said...

This looks great and is very similar to a boiled fruit cake that I make, I'll definitely try it - I love tea!. Lovely blog too - and apart from the location ( I'm in Cornwall UK) your profile could almost be mine! Pop by again soon.

Liz from feastsandfestivals

Anonymous said...

Looks and sounds lovely BVG. I think that you could soak fruit in lovely spicy Indian chai too- that would be good?!? Unlike you, I love tea, and fruit so whenever I make fruit loaf I pig out on it-but it is practically a health food so that's ok ;-}

Lisa said...

LOL at the tea bag! I love dried fruit and tea so just as well this cake is so "healthy" as I wouldn't be able to stop at one slice! I've been meaning to get the Avoca books but never seen them in the flesh. Based on this recipe though, I should just go ahead and order one! Love your gorgeous plate too. Get well soon to your friend.

Lilly Higgins said...

This looks gorgeous and I love the plate! I have to say I love tea brack style cakes too. Its perfect as a Get Well soon present as it's packed with energy and iron etc. Such a nice idea. Thats so funny about that page in the book being wrecked, I have recipe pages like that too!

Anonymous said...

I had to laugh at the tea bag too because it sounds like something I would do! Your loaf looks beautiful -- what a thoughtful gift for your friend. I have a few cookbooks with splattered pages too. I think that's a mark of a great recipe.

I have three of the Avoca Cookbooks but I have to admit that other than quiche, I've only made the bread and treats (which have all been pretty good). I probably should try some of the other recipes.

LF said...

LOL @tea bag! I have been faithful to Nigella's from FEAST, but yours look nice too.

However, no alcohol in this house so what do you reckon one could use as substitute for whiskey in your recipe?

rosasdolcevita said...

I love the addition of alcohol. I will have to try this soon. This looks delicious!

Thanks for stopping earlier! I'll be back to visit. I'm going to look around and see other recipes you have. :-)

Srividhya Ravikumar said...

Really lovely.. i liked it very much and gonna try it soon.. following you

Anonymous said...

looks so lovely.. my grandma used to make a cake very similar to serve with tea on a Sunday and she would thickly butter each slice too!!!

Brownieville Girl said...

Emmalene, chai tea sounds perfect, any extra spice is a good thing in my book!

Lisa, thanks - she is doing well. I would buy the first Avoca Cafe Cookbook, it is wonderful!

Edie, the Avoca salads are fantastic - you should give them a go.

Maria, I would just use some more tea.

Big welcome to my new readers:-}} (and the regulars too of course!!!)

Choclette said...

This looks really moist and yummy. I haven't made a tea loaf in a long long. It's strange how things you really like, get forgotten as other things come on board.

La Bella Cooks said...

Your plate is gorgeous! Definitely a bit of prep but one that sounds totally worth it to me. Delicious.

Jutta said...

That looks delicious! I have had my gall bladder out when my first born was 3 weeks old and would loved to have come home to such appealing fare. I must share with you my health loaf recipe (from my in-laws) but have to wait to my shipping arrives in a month's time from London. Please prompt me if I forget as I think you would really enjoy this loaf.

Brownieville Girl said...

Thanks Choclette and Bridgett.

Jutta, an operation with a 3 week old, much have been a nightmare!! Would love the recipe for the health loaf, will remind you when your ship comes in :-}}

Jannett said...

using hot tea....interesting idea... I will be giving this a try... thanks for sharing... :)