Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Chamomile Fruit Loaf

Chamomile tea has such a wonderful soft sweetness, so I'm ashamed to confess that I've only recently tried it out in a recipe. This loaf accentuates the floral fruitiness of the tea and is perfect both as a lunchtime snack or an after dinner treat. Moist and dense, it can be enjoyed naked, but for a real indulgence defile it with butter or peanut butter. It may only be a mild corruption, but trust me when I say it's worth it!

Prep time: 15 Mins (Plus steeping time)
Baking time: 75-80 Mins
300ml Strong Chamomile Tea (Hot but not boiling)
Zest of a large Orange
300g Mixed Dried Fruit
100g Golden Syrup
100g Soft Dark Brown Sugar
250g Self Raising Flour
1 Large Egg

So let's get going. In a large jug or bowl mix together the fruit and zest, then pour over the hot tea. Add the syrup and sugar, then mix together and leave to go cold. When you come to revisit the mixture, you will find it has become unctuous, with a heady aroma.

Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3 and grease a 22cm loaf tin, lining the base with baking paper. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl then pour in the tea mixture. Crack in the large egg and mix together to an evenly combined batter. Pour into your prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 75-80 minutes, until a metal skewer can be cleanly removed when inserted into the middle of the loaf. When cooked remove from the oven, leave in the tin for 15 minutes, then carefully remove and leave to cool on a wire rack until just warm. It's now ready to be sliced and enjoyed.

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