I do love sultanas, they are nice and juicy and give a great texture and taste to almost any cake. This loaf cake has sultanas that have been soaked in cold tea for at least 5 hours. I have also added some mixed spice to give a wonderful additional flavour.
I saw the recipe, without the mixed spice element, on a number of different websites without any particular attribution. But I did see on one site a reference to a Delia Smith cookbook. So maybe the base recipe is originally one of Delia’s.
The recipe has no fat in it, getting its’ moisture from the plumb tea-soaked sultanas, with a residue of tea as well. Also a large egg adds a little extra moisture.
This is a very simple recipe, and results in a very stiff batter/dough, but it bakes well and delivers a wonderful cake. From my reading I see that the flavour deepens if left for 2 days in an airtight container. Of course that was never going to happen in my case, as I am always keen to taste what I have baked.
- 225g sultanas
- 175ml cold black tea
- 225g self raising flour
- 175g demerara sugar
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten(extra large in USA)
- 1.5 tsp mixed spice
- inch of salt
- extra demerara sugar to sprinkle on top(either before it goes in the oven or when it comes out depending on preference.
- Place the sultanas in a bowl with the cold black tea and allow to soak for at least 5 hours. Overnight is good.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350 F.
- Grease a 2lb/900g loaf tin, or line with parchment paper or loaf paper.
- Place the sultanas and residue of the tea in a large bowl.
- Sift the flour, mixed spice and salt over the sultanas and stir in.
- Add the sugar and stir in.
- Add the egg and stir in.
- Spoon the thick batter into the loaf tin and spread evenly, pushing into the corners.
- Bake in the oven for 1 hour, checking after 50 minutes.
- As soon as a skewer, poked into the centre, comes out clean remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the tin and allowing to cool completely.