This jasmine tea loaf has been made because my friend Trevennon over at Hamlets Bakery asked me if I had a recipe for a traditional Jewish honey cake called Lekach which is eaten at Rosh Hashanah. As it happens I didn’t have a recipe so I went to my own personal encyclopaedia for everything baking, my mum. Funnily enough mum didn’t have a recipe for the honey cake but she did have a recipe for a ginger and golden syrup cake which she always makes at that time of year. It’s a cake that her mum always made too. To me it’s typical of a Yorkshire lass to make a cake with golden syrup.
Traditional or not, the sweet cake is supposed to represent a sweet new year and there’s no doubt that golden syrup does this perfectly well. However, I digress. This jasmine tea loaf was triggered because whilst searching for the recipe for my friend I was reminded of my other grandma Sylvia who used to always make a tea loaf for tea-time on a Sunday. She would always serve each slathered in butter and sometimes even with a slice of cheese on top. It’s stunning. Very dense as it has no butter, but so tasty and the perfect accompaniment to a cuppa!
Before you read on, the fruit for this cake needs an overnight (6 hour) soak, so you need to prep the day before you want to eat it.
- 340g of mixed dried fruit (sultanas, raisins, cherries, candied peel etc. – you can buy these ready mixed.)
- 300ml strong hot tea – I used 2 tablespoons jasmine rose tea leaves in hot water (strained)
- 2 medium eggs
- 200g self-raising flour
- 50g ground almonds
- the zest of one orange
- 200g golden caster sugar
Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with parchment.
Place the dried mixed fruit into a bowl and pour over the strained hot tea. Set aside for 6 hours or preferably overnight. The fruit will soak up all the liquid.
When you’re ready to bake the cake, pre-heat the oven to 160C fan.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the flours, orange zest and sugar, then tip in the soaked fruit and mix well until it’s all evenly incorporated.
Pour the cake batter into the tin and bake for at least 1 hour. It may take slightly longer but it will be ready when it feels firm to the touch. Let it cool in the tin before slicing and slathering each slice with butter.
Eat and of course enjoy!