Friday, 19 August 2011

Chai Tea Loaf

OK, I've been experimenting a fair amount with sugar alternatives and have become quite a fan of Sweet Freedom natural sweetener ( It is a syrup, sweeter than sugar and I have found it has a lower burning temperature, so you can't just replace like for like with 'regular' sugar. However, it is a good alternative if you want to be a bit healthier.

Using a recipe I've found online I've come up with my spin on the traditional tea loaf. I find using dates not only help with the natural sweetness, but also add a toffee like flavour as well as rich textured element. Anyway, hope you enjoy

Prep time: 10 Mins (Not including soaking time)
Baking time: 75 Mins
300ml Strong Chai Tea
18 Medjool Dates (Or two of the packs you get in the supermarket)
100ml Sweet Freedom Natural Sweetener (Or 200G Brown Sugar)
250g Self Raising Flour
1 Large Egg (Beaten)
1 Tsp Mixed Spice (Although you can add more if you want it proper spicy!)
A little butter (For greasing)

Right, I use 2 Chai Tea bags for this. Put the two tea bags in a large jug and cover with 300ml of boiling water. Whilst they are infusing take the stones out of the dates and roughly chop. After the tea has infused for 5 mins add the dates, mixed spice and sweetener/sugar, then let the whole lot cool until tepid. You'll be left with a wonderful gooey sticky mixture that smells amazing.

Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3 and grease a 22cm loaf tin (I also line the base with baking paper, but it's up to you). Pour the chai tea mix into a large bowl. Don't forget to remove the tea bags, giving them a gentle squeeze to ensure all the heady liquid is extracted and discard them. Add the beaten egg, then the flour and mix it all together until combined. Pour the mix into tin and bake in the centre of the oven for about 75 Mins, or until a metal skewer comes out clean.
When you're happy with it, take it out the oven and leave in the tin for about 15 minutes. It should come out of the tin relatively easily, but if worried you can run a palette knife down the sides before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

You can enjoy this sliced as it is or toasted, with jam, butter, lemon curd, peanut butter, whatever you like!

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