This is a new improved recipe.
I don't usually celebrate St. Patrick's Day, so I thought, why not join in the fun this year? I had made Boxty yesterday. It is an Irish potatoes pancake which I had posted on my Instagram profile. So why stop there? That's when I browsed thru' Donal's repertoire of recipes and found this awesome Irish Tea Loaf or Barmbrack.
They usually serve this on Halloween, why not on St. Patrick's Day too? This tea loaf really reminds me of the Xmas cake; it has the same dense and fruity citrusy intense flavors. Anyway, to make life easier, I am using a high quality dried fruit mix. Be sure they are high quality; always read the ingredients list. If you see any chemicals which you can't even pronounce, it is best not to buy it. Or you can simply google them if they are indeed harmful.
The hardest part after baking is to allow the tea loaf to be cooled, unmolded and stored. It does tastes better after 24 hrs. I kept it wrapped and outta sight so I wouldnt be tempted to slice and eat, cos I know once I start, I can't stop. These are usually served with butter spread with a cup of tea on the side. Without much further ado, let's get started with the recipe. Happy St. Paddy's Day / Happy Halloween!
Inspired By Donal Skehan
(Make 1 loaf)
Earl Grey, 2 Tea Bags
Boiling Water, 250ml
Irish Whiskey, 50ml
High Quality Dried Fruit Mix, 375g
Unsalted Butter, For Greasing
Unbleached All Purpose Flour, 225g
Baking Powder, 2 TSP
Light Muscovado Sugar, 60g
Molasses Sugar, 60g
All Spice Powder, 1/2 TSP
Brew earl grey with boiling water in a large bowl.
Cover and steep the tea bags until tea is slightly cooled.
Remove the tea bags.
*Do not be tempted to squeeze the tea bags to extract more tea. It will leave a bitter note.*
Add in whiskey and stir to combine well.
Add in the dried fruits mix.
Stir the mixture to combine well making sure all the fruits are fully submerged.
Cover and let it sit on the counter at room temperature overnight.
The next day, preheat oven to 170 degree celsius or 340 fahrenheit.
Grease loaf pan with butter.
Line parchment paper with the sides overhanging. It will be easy to unmold.
Strain the fruits mixture thru a fine strainer over a bowl.
*Do not discard the liquid. It will be used at a later stage.*
In a large bowl, add flour, baking powder, sugar and all spice.
Stir to combine well.
Create a well in the center.
Add in egg.
Add in the mixed fruits.
Add in the fruits liquid 1 TBSP at a time, at the same time mixing.
Keep adding and mixing until it is very annoying to mix anymore.
You should have a wet and sticky dough, but not runny.
Discard any leftover liquid.
Mix to combine well.
Transfer into the prepared loaf pan.
Wack into the oven and bake for 1 hr, or until the top turns dark brown and pass the skewer test.
Remove from oven and set aside until completely cooled.
Unmold and transfer onto a large cling film.
Wrap the cake and set aside for 24 to 48 hrs before slicing and serving.
*It tastes better the next day.*
Serve with butter and a cup of tea on the side.