From reading the recipe I thought it would be a richer, darker, version of a malt loaf. That is certainly true, as I found out when I made it.
One of a great things about a malt loaf is, if made correctly, that it is slightly sticky after baking, but gets even more sticky when wrapped and stored for a couple of days. Indeed it is a good idea to store it for a couple of days before even tasting it. But it is very difficult not to try a slice just as soon as it has cooled a little.
Easy To Make
This is a very easy to make recipe. But you must do a little prep first. It is necessary to soak the fruits in hot tea for a while before making the loaf. That is not a problem though, since the fruit can be soaked overnight. Then, the next day just gather the ingredients and bake the loaf.
Although I used soft dried prunes, finely chopped, and raisins the fruit can be varied. However it is advisable to use nice and juicy dried fruits. That is the purpose of the soaking to help the raisins to swell. Again, I used flame raisins, which are large, but any raisins would be fine.
It is very easy to mix together all the ingredients. I actually warmed my soaked fruit in the microwave oven for a few seconds before adding into the batter. That was because the baking soda is added into the fruit ,to help soften the skins, and I thought a warm mixture would activate it quicker. However that is really an optional process.
My loaf baked perfectly. The top, as is common in loaf cakes, split during baking. A wonderful aroma filled the kitchen as the loaf cake baked.
I used some additional malt extract to brush over the top as soon as the loaf cake came out of the oven. That gave a nice sheen to the top, and added a touch more stickiness.
It sliced well and tasted very good indeed. Butter spread on a slice made it even better.
As mentioned earlier, this loaf cake is best when wrapped and stored for a couple of days. Though, I admit, it is so tempting to eat some right away.
Easy Malt Loaf – Sweet and StickyCourse: Bread, CakesCuisine: BritishDifficulty: Easy
250g(1 2/3 cups, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) plain flour
100g(1/2 cup, tightly packed) soft dark brown sugar
150ml(7 tbsp) malt extract (plus a little more to brush on the top if desired)
200g(1 2/3 cups) raisins
100g( 7 or 8) soft dried prunes, finely chopped
40g(2 tbsp) black treacle or molasses
2 medium eggs(large in USA), lightly beaten
150ml(1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) strong black tea, hot
4g(1 tsp) baking powder
2g (1/2 tsp) baking soda
- Place the hot tea, raisins and prunes into a bowl and stir to combine, Set aside overnight (or for about 10 hours).
- Warm the fruit mixture(optional) and then add in the baking soda and stir around, set aside for 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 170C/150C Fan/325F.
- Place the sugar, malt extract and black treacle into a saucepan and then, stirring all the while, on a low heat melt toghether until the sugar is fully dissoved. Set aside for 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl mix the flour and baking powder together.
- Pour the malt mixture and the fruit and any unabsorbed tea into the flour and stir until everything is fully combined.
- Add the beaten eggs and mix until fully incorporated.
- Pour the batter into a parchment lined 2lb/900g loaf tin.
- Bake in the oven for between 60 and 75 minutes. Until the loaf has risen and a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and brush more malt extract over the top, if desired.
- Allow the loaf to cool completely in the pan before removing.
- Wrap tightly and store in an airtight container, to allow the stickiness to develop further.