Tea and cake always available!

I nearly always have one or two types of cake on the go, just for something sweet after lunch or with our mid-afternoon cuppa. Working from home it’s nice to have a small treat to loook forward to and it’s healthier and more satisfying than shop bought cakes and biscuits.

Here’s a cake recipe which I originally found in a BBC food magazine, perhaps the vegetarian one but I can’t remember. The page was torn out and filed along with other favourites in an ever expanding collection. I love it, partly because it only makes one pan and a spoon dirty, and if you line the cake tin with greaseproof paper, you don’t even have to wash that either. But I mainly like it because it’s a lovely moist cake, you can vary the ingredients and keeps quite happily for a week in an airtight container.

Mixed Fruit Teabread

125g butter, cubed

200ml milk

175g mixed dried fruit

175g golden caster sugar

225g plain flour

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 egg

Line a bread tin with greaseproof paper and heat the oven to 180°C.

In a saucepan, put the butter, sugar, dried fruit and milk and heat gently stirring regularly until the butter is melted. Don’t heat it up too much as you have to allow the mixture to cool before adding the dry ingredients.

Beat in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and the egg until the mixture is smooth. The mixture should be quite slack but if it’s too wet add a little more flour or the fruit will sink to the bottom of the cake. Pour the mix into the tin and bake for one hour in the centre of the oven.  (If you’re a cake mixture licker like me this one is especially good!)

Test whether the cake is cooked by inserting a skewer into the cake – if it comes out clean then it’s done.

Variations include adding 125g chopped apricots with 50g of roasted and chopped hazlenuts instead of the dried fruit. This is delicious and is a great way to use the cob nuts we harvest from the tree in the garden. I’ve also made it with sultanas and the grated rind and juice of a lemon – a much more summery flavour. I’ve found this can be too runny with the extra liquid so you could try reducing the milk slightly and adding a little more flour.

Apricot and Hazlenut Cake