Saturday, November 26, 2011


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!).

Tea Brack
adapted from Lilly Higgins' Make Bake Love

300ml           hot strong tea
360g             luxury fruit mix
100g             chopped stoned dried dates
1                   egg
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.


Anonymous said...

I have to admit, I don't like a lot of dried fruit in my baking, but this looks very pretty. ;)

Karen S Booth said...

Tea Brack and Ginger? A perfect combination and I would loved to sit at your tea time table with a cuppa and a slice of that! What a GREAT entry, thanks so much for baking for this new blogging challenge!

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

Looks delicious, and I love the mugs! :-)

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

That looks lovely. I don't now how you can resist it! I haven't made or tried brack before. I must give it a go.

Gloria Baker said...

What nice Cake dear brownies, I love Tea time, añways:) I have a label in my blog that is call:TEa time, love this cake!

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

Thank you so much for not only entering a delucioys trwat but also for paying us such lovely compliments!! Really looking forward to hearing the Tale of the Pudding!

cocoa and coconut said...

This looks delicious! I am a lover of dried fruit and puddings involving them. I love a good Decemeber "pig out" too ;)

Caroline said...

Oooh, that looks great. It depends what mood I'm in, but sometimes I really do love a good slice of fruity cake!

Unknown said...

oooh, I haven't seen a Brack in years... this looks wonderful and very fruity... and that crystalized ginger is a bonus isn't it?... divine x

Rose H (UK) said...

I love making 'tea bread', but had never thought of adding any alcohol. Next time I'm certainly going to 'give it a go'!
Thank you for your sweet comments :o)
Rose H

Shu Han said...

haha you are so cute, makign sth that you don't like so you won't eat it. i don't think i'll ever have the willpower.

MissCakeBaker said...

I admire your willpower - I have none! I love ginger too - am going to make my entry tomorrow.

Victory Rolls & Mixing Bowls said...

I love ginger too! I'm trying to be good too so I can feast at Christmas, I'd have to put something in it that I wouldn't want to eat too

Nom! x

Ana Regalado said...

Ginger's one of my fave spice(s) especially when it's fresh :D And your cake looks yummy with all those dried fruits dotting every slice ;)

Janice said...

ooh err! Never put cointreau in a tea loaf before lol! I love it.

Unknown said...

now this looks delicious! I adore ginger cakes and need to try this out x

laura_howtocook said...

This is just my sort of cake, heavy on the fruit and the addition of ginger makes it all the more tasty! You are right, this would fill the gap until it is time to delve into my Xmas cake.....can't wait! X

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

I have learned so much from following the blogs In Ireland, England and all over really. We don't usually have a lot of fruity cakes like you guys do. This looks so delicious.

teresa said...

this is fabulous, i love the dried fruit in there!

Maria♥ said...

You can't beat a tea loaf. Love the look and sound of this recipe, definitely a must try!


Zoe said...

I love ginger but was afraid of adding higher amount of ginger in my cakes because kids didn't like ginger as adults.

This cake is all packed with generous amount of fruits. It will be a great enjoyment to eat this cake for a relaxing tea time.

Anne said...

Mm looks really dark, fruity and delicious! I love tealoaves (?) always good after a couple of days for the flavours to mature!

~Lexibule~ said...

J'aime les saveurs de ce gâteau:) Bon début de semaine!!xxx