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Tea Fruit Cake Recipe & Video

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This Tea Fruit Cake is wonderfully soft and moist and contains dried fruits, candied fruit peel, chopped nuts and is spiced with ground cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. It doesn't contain alcohol. Instead the dried fruits are soaked in hot tea, which not only adds flavor, but also makes them wonderfully plump and moist. This recipe combines my Easy Fruit Cake recipe with the Irish cake called Barmbrack. It is different from Barmbrack in that melted butter is added to the cake batter. And it is different from my Easy Fruit Cake recipe because the dried fruits are soaked in hot tea instead of just water. I like to serve this cake in thick slices, preferably buttered. It is also very good with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese.


I love how easy it is to make this Tea Fruit Cake. Once the dried fruits have been soaked in the hot tea, preferably overnight, all that is left is to add the rest of the ingredients. For the tea, I like to use tea bags. And use a tea with a lot of flavor. A good choice is a black tea such as English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Assam, or Darjeeling. Let the tea steep until it is nice and strong before adding the brown sugar and dried fruits. For the dried fruits you can use a combination of dark and golden raisins, currants, dried cranberries, dried cherries, dried apricots, etc. This cake also contains some toasted chopped nuts and candied mixed peel. For the nuts you can use pecans, walnuts, almonds, or even hazelnuts. For the candied peel, you can use lemon and/or orange candied peel or a mixed candied peel that contains candied (glacé) cherries. If you don't like candied peel then you can just leave it out. While you can serve this cake straight away, I do think it benefits from being stored, at least overnight.

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Tea Fruit Cake: Stir the sugar into the hot tea until dissolved. Place the dried fruits in a large bowl. Stir in the hot sweet tea. Cover and let sit at room temperature at least a couple of hours, preferably overnight. (This gives enough time for the dried fruits to absorb the tea so they become plump, juicy, and flavorful.)

When ready to make the cake batter, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Butter, or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray, an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 3 inch (21.5 x 11.5 x 8 cm) loaf pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and lightly butter the paper.

Place the pecans or walnuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes or until lightly brown and fragrant. Let cool and then coarsely chop.

In a bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground spices.

Stir the candied mixed peel and chopped nuts into the dried fruit mixture. Next, stir in the lightly beaten egg and melted butter. Then add the flour mixture and stir to combine. Pour into your prepared pan, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon or offset spatula. Bake for about 55 - 65 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes before removing from pan. If possible, cover and store overnight before serving. This fruit cake can be frozen. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator.

Makes one loaf.

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Tea Fruit Cake:

1 cup (240 ml/grams) hot strong tea (I use a black tea such as English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Assam, or Darjeeling)

1/2 cup (100 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar

8 ounces (225 grams) dried fruit (dark raisins, golden seedless raisins, currants, dried cranberries, dried cherries, etc.)

1/2 cup (50 grams) pecans or walnuts

1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) baking soda

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) fine kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 freshly freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

3/4 cup (100 grams) candied orange and/or lemon peel, or mixed peel

1 large egg (50 grams out of shell), lightly beaten

1/4 cup (55 grams) butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

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