A recent email from Dove’s Farm included a link to the recipe for an Earl Grey fruit loaf. I am a big fan of fruit loaves and tea breads, and pretty much any cake that involves tea or fruit or some combination of the two. I’m not however a fan of Earl Grey tea, we always have some in the cupboard for visiting family members who like it, but my personal taste is for a proper mug of builder’s tea. Reading the recipe I suspected that the Earl Grey flavour might end up balanced out by all of the fruit and the cake, I certainly hoped it would.
The cake was easy to make, unlike most of the tea breads I’ve made before the fruit only has to soak in the tea until the tea has gone cold, not overnight. I used a mixture of fruit including some chopped apricots and a couple of different mixed dried fruit mixes (it turned out this was the perfect cake to use up some ends of packs).
The cake turned out really well. I’d seen that the reviews of the recipe on the website had recommended covering the top with foil to stop it getting too dark – this was good as it meant I was keeping a closer eye on it than I might have and did catch it and use foil just in time*.
The cake tastes delicious. That tell tale perfumey taste of Earl Grey isn’t obvious (thankfully), I assume that it just enhances the overall flavour of the cake. The recipe recommends chopping dried fruit like apricots into quarters, mine were pre-chopped into much smaller pieces and I think that next time I’d definitely go for chopping my own.
It is a free from cake. The recipe as it stands is free from both gluten and dairy, and it gives directions for a substitution for the egg that would then make it vegan. The day it was baked it was very crumbly, not uncommon for gluten free cake, but was much better all round the next day. It’s definitely the sort of cake that however tempting it might be, really should be left for 24 hours before eating to get the best from it.
I loved this cake. With the exception of the orange it’s baked entirely from ingredients I would always have in my cupboard so I think it’s probably one that will end up getting made on a not infrequent basis.
*The far end is, as you may have spotted, a little darker than I would have wanted. I’ve learned recently that one side of my oven is hotter than the other and this is the result.