Thursday, March 10, 2005

Breakfast Tea Loaf

Breakfast Tea Loaf
♥ Breakfast Tea Loaf
This was on our breakfast table this morning. What a big ugly lumpy chunk of loaf we had there. Definitely this is not one of those beautiful loaf that is so pleasing to your eyes that on first sight, you want to swallow the whole loaf.

The look might not be appealling but seriously, you got to look far deeper than the outside and search for the inner beauty hiding in this lumpy little loaf. Hiding inside the little loaf is the richness and sweetness of assorted dried fruits and the good oil from the nuts.

I baked this amidst a dispirited mood last night. I have found baking or even cooking a rather therapeutic process that can calm the mind down. Whenever I am a little down or just feeling gloomy or moody, I have this urge to go into the kitchen and do something. This "do something" used to be grabbing a pack of chocolate or chips or lollies and finish them up all at once. Of course, what follows after the pigging out session is this deep sense of guilt that is so hard to erase off.

After starting this blog, I found myself spending time in the kitchen more so than before. And slowly, the pig-out session turns into cooking/baking session which to me at least, is good. The whole process of cooking/baking slowly calms your mind down and helps you to revitalise your mind. The best bit is of course the end product which can be shared and enjoyed by everyone. It's even better if the product was a success because you might receive compliments which I reckon a so much better way to revive your dampened spirit. Oh and you are not putting as much weight from this because you dont pig out as much! ;-)

Breakfast Tea Loaf Slice
♥ A loaful of fruits and nuts
Anyway, 'nuff of my old lady babble. Here's the recipes to the breakfast tea loaf:

Breakfast Tea Loaf
from morning bakes by Linda Collister
makes 1 medium loaf cake
100g shredded bran cereals*
120g dark muscovado sugar
130g mixed dried fruits**
175ml strong tea, warm***
30g walnut pieces****
100g plain flour, sifted
1.5tsp baking powder
1.5tsp ground mixed spice*****

a 450g loaf tin, greased and base-lined
  • Put the cereal, sugar and dried fruit into a large bowl, add the warm tea, stir well, then cover and let soak for 30 minutes.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, and stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly mixed. (The cereal will disappear into the mixture)
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and smooth the surface with a palette knife. Bake in preheated oven at 180c (350F) Gas 4 for about 45 minutes until firm and well risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Let cool in the tin until lukewarm, then turn out and eat while still warm. Alternatively, turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Author's Note:
The loaf is best if wrapped and kept for a day before cutting. Eat within 4 days, or wrap then freeze for up to 1 month.
For a full tea-flavour, use a strong variety such as breakfast or Irish blend, or a rich malty Assam.
Eat the loaf cake thickly sliced, warm or even toasted, with or without butter and jam.

Pinkcocoa's Variations:
* I used raw muesli since I didn't have any bran cereal at home. I think rolled oat would do just as fine too. Note that when using raw muesli, the muesli will not disappear into the mixture. This is why I get a rather lumpy loaf as opposed to the smoother loaf shown in the book.
** I added a mixture of dried fruits: banana, prunes, apple, apricots, raisins, dates.
*** I used English Breakfast Tea, brewed very strongly for a super rich tea flavour.
**** I used a mix of pistachio and almond instead of walnuts.
***** I used a mix of ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg since I don't have any mixed spices.
ps. I bought the book for A$2 at a garage sale!

A loaf full of fruits and nuts
♥ Just a few of the richness inside: Aprictos, Almond and Pistachio
The loaf is slightly sweet and produces a nice aroma of tea infused with cinnamon and nutmeg. In fact, I found it smells a little like chai tea! I had the loaf plain, no butter and no jam. The sweetness was just right for me. Most of the sweetness actually comes from the dried fruits. I bet this would be nice with nutella too. The only thing is that the loaf is a little dry so it's best to eat it with a cup of tea. :)

This has been the easiest baking project for me ever! Did you notice there is no butter and egg involved? No creaming involved. Just soak then mix. It's just so simple. I think this is a better baking project for beginners than muffin! If only I noticed this earlier.

I wonder if I could stick a label that says healthy and low-fat on this loaf. The only fats probably stems from the dried fruits and nuts themselves. I am not sure if this is low calorie but I would see this as a good low GI breakfast that is full of fibre! The only thing I am concerned about is the amount of sugar inside the loaf. Anyhow, I do enjoy this loaf which is so easy to make. I think this would be good when baked in a muffin pan too. Makes a great snacks for the afternoon! ;-)