In a nod to both St Patrick's Day this Thursday and my trip down to the East Kent Coast I decided to make this sticky, spicy and very easy tea loaf from Oyster stout and dried fruit.
I adapted the recipe from Simon Rimmer's simple Tea Loaf, but used the stout instead of tea and just sultanas instead of a mixture of dried fruit. The stout gives it a lovely rich, malty flavour but feel free to use strong tea or ale instead. I also used some home candied orange peel, which went well with the flavours of cinnamon and nutmeg, but you can use mixed peel or just add a few more sultanas.
This is very sticky and crumbly when first out of the oven, so allow to cool completely before cutting. It's also a cake that seems to improve with keeping, (if you can resist) so perfect for a camping or caravanning trip. The mixture can also easily be doubled if you want to make a loaf for now and save one for later.
Stout and Sultana Loaf
200g Sultanas (or Mixed Dried Fruit)
25g Mixed Peel
300ml Stout, Ale or Strong Tea
250g Self Raising flour
200g Soft Light Brown Sugar
1 free-range Egg
1 tsp ground Cinnamon
1 tsp freshly grated Nutmeg
Butter to serve
Place the stout in a bowl and add the dried fruit and mixed peel. Cover, place in the fridge and allow to soak overnight. (if you forget to soak the fruit the night before just gently heat the stout in a saucepan, add the fruit and soak for a couple of hours)
Preheat the oven to 175c/375f
Add the flour, sugar and egg and spices to the soaked fruit and mix until well combined.
Tip into a buttered 22cm x 10cm greased and lined loaf tin (I just lined the bottom and sides)
Cook for 1 1/4 hours, or until a skewer comes out clean. (I cooked this for closer to 2 hours, with the top covered in foil at the end to stop it burning)
Once cool serve in thick slices with plenty of butter.
Perfect slathered in butter with a cuppa, or, as I'm planning to, wrapped up and packed with a battered Thermos of tea to enjoy on a windswept Whitstable beach.