Soft in the centre and crunchy on the outside, this moist tea loaf is delicious served warm and spread with butter.
I recently received a packet of Crazy Jack Organic sultanas to review. They were so delicious and juicy, my kids and I finished the entire packet! Craving more, and pleased to know that they are organic, free from artificial additives and sulfite-free, I rushed out to buy a few more packets.
Over the next few days, I experimented with them in the kitchen. I used them for a Roasted beet salad, Afghani rice (recipe will be up soon), and for this Cardamom and sultana tea bread. (Disclaimer: I was not paid to review this product)
This tea loaf recipe is perfect for my (now) abundant stash of sultanas, and I have used one of my favourite spices – cardamom.
A tea loaf is a traditional English cake. It is baked in the shape of a loaf, and has dried fruit which have been soaked in strong tea before baking.
The dried fruit plumps up as much of the tea is absorbed, and this helps to keep the loaf moist.
It is better, if you have time, to soak the sultanas in tea overnight – if not, a few hours of soaking will suffice. I used Earl Grey teabags, but you could use any tea of your choice.
For the cardamom flavour, I find it simpler to heat the milk with the crushed pods and seeds. This gives a lovely cardamom flavour and is so much easier than trying to grind the hard seeds! Make sure the milk cools down to room temperature before mixing in with the wet ingredients.
The loaf mixture might appear thick, but the sultanas will have absorbed enough liquid to keep the loaf moist.
For that wonderful ‘just baked’ taste and aroma, slice and lightly toast before spreading with butter. Serve with coffee or tea.
Store in an airtight container.
Tip: For easy snacks, consider making a second loaf to cut into slices, wrap and freeze!
Cardamom and sultana tea loaf
- 1 cup sultanas
- 2 teabags Earl Grey tea or Assam/breakfast tea, etc
- 1 cup hot water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 cardamoms pods, smashed
- 2 1/2 cups self-raising flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
Pour the hot water into a medium bowl and add the teabags. Remove the teabags after 5 minutes and pour in the sultanas, ensuring they are submerged in the tea. Cover and leave on the counter overnight or for a couple of hours. Drain (without squeezing) before using.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the milk and smashed cardamoms. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat. Allow to cool and strain out the seeds/pods before using.
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the salt. Separately, in a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. To this, add the eggs, milk and vanilla and mix well. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and combine well.
Line a loaf pan with baking paper, leaving some hanging over the edges so you can remove the loaf easily. Pour the mixture in and bake for 45 mins, or till a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from tin.
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