Monday, September 5, 2011

Banana Raisin Tea BreadCake...so goood!!

Does my puppy really think she's getting a slice of this divine Banana Raisin BreadCake...I think not!! - especially so as raisins can be lethal to our furry dog friends...but that aside this is a really divine cross between a teabread (a sweet loafy thing with yeast) and a fruit cake...it's really just a light fruitcake with bananas in to be honest and it  is absolutely delicious.
The ingredients above and the cake pictured here don't have nuts in but the second one I made...and the third and now for sure the fourth had either walnuts or pecans in to round out the tooth and flavour...it's great without nuts but even better with and be sure to lightly toast the nuts first to elevate their flavour.
 
Adapted, ever so slightly, from "The Food for Thought" cookbook by the restaurant of the same name in Covent Garden, London....a wonderful vegetarian eatery.

Firstly soak your dried fruit in hot tea for a couple of hours to plump before using in this recipe.
I try to give measurements for cups and weights but I always do weights myself as it makes for a much more reliable recipe and for consistency when you make it again so I would recommend weighing if you can.

 Set your oven to 325F when you're ready to start the recipe

INGREDIENTS:
4oz/1 stick softened butter (I always use salted in desserts..I just like the flavour)
 
8oz/1 cup sugar
 
4 fl.ozs/1/2 cup strongly brewed tea - I used Earl Grey and it was excellent!!
 
4oz/ 5/8 cup raisins
 
4oz/1 cup walnuts or pecans lightly toasted first until they are fragrant...allow to cool and then crumble to smallish pieces.
 
4 fl.ozs/1/2 cup liquid combination of whole milk (I used Elderfower Farm unpasteurized in glass bottles from Lincolnville, Maine) and the tea
strained from the fruit
 
2 goodly sized bananas mashed smooth
 
1 teaspoon bicarb of soda/baking soda
 
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (I LOVE nutmeg but you can use ginger or cardamom or a combination)
 
8oz/2 cups unbleached white flour
 
1 teaspoon vanilla essence/extract

METHOD:

1. Soak raisins in hot tea for a couple of hours then drain and reserve the tea....add milk to tea to make 4 fluid ounces/1/2 cup.
 
2. Cream butter and sugar together until light in colour and fluffy.
 
3. Beat in the tea/milk, bananas and vanilla...it will be sloppy and kind of curdled looking like below but not to worry!! Then stir in the drained raisins...
4. Sift dry ingredients together.
 
5. Gently fold dry ingredients into banana/butter slush until well combined.
 
6. Pour into a lightly buttered and floured cake tin...mine is 6 x 3 and it is a perfect size for this recipe...which can be doubled and made in a 9" pan.

7. Bake in 325F oven for about 40-60 minutes. The cooking takes a long time and you may have to check a couple of times to make sure it is cooked in the centre...my first one you see here was a little undercooked in the middle...but then I cooked longer the next time...just make sure a skewer slipped into the centre of the cake comes out clean and your cake is done. If your cake is getting too brown put a little aluminium foil cap on it until it is done.

Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before unmolding and allowing to cool on a cake rack...if you leave in the pan to cool or cover before it is completely cold it will sweat and become soggy...we don't want that do we??
 I could happily eat a slice of this cake every day for the rest of my life...I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!!
Happy Baking...Patricia
This post is part of the Tea Time Treats at Lavender and Lovage and What Kate Baked

Tea Time Treats
 
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