Monday, 15 August 2011

Canadian tea(pig) loaf - recipe

I think you might call this a cake by proxy, and this is why. We had our first cake club event recently where everyone who wants to come along signs up to bringing a cake that relates to the theme. Unfortunately the lady who was bringing, what she described as a 'Canadian tea loaf' was unable to join us, so on a whim I googled the recipe for 'Canadian tea loaf', as I had never heard of it, and then I had a go at making one myself (well two really as I gave some away to testers). I adapted the recipe I found (with the help of google and originally from Susan McMahon) a little bit to suit what I had in the store cupboard. 

The result has been very popular with everyone who tried it, but I don't know if this is the same recipe that would have been brought to cake club or not and maybe I will never find out?

The other thing is that this recipe calls for brewed tea to soak the fruit in (I can remember my mum making recipes with tea like this when we were children), hence the tea reference in the name and what better tea to use than real tea leaves from tea pigs. I used tea pigs Darjeeling earl grey tea temples for this recipe. This gave the tea loaf a nice, delicate and subtle earl grey flavour and the recipe was all the better for using real tea. 

No-one tasting and testing this loaf cake can work out what was 'Canadian' about this recipe. Maybe the Canadian Mounties carry it as a staple in their saddlebags, who knows? Whatever the history this is very good served sliced with butter; the real tea and boiling of the dried fruit really enhances the flavours.

Here's the tea pigs Darjeeling early grey tea bubbling away with fruit, sugar and butter. The dried ingredients and the loaf mixed and in the filled loaf tin prior to baking.
If you haven't come across tea pigs before they make really good flavoursome (traditional and often unusual) real leaf teas. One of the features of tea pigs that has always grabbed my attention, is that for the tea in bags (as they sell loose tea as well) each tea bag is made up of a sort of gossamer silk-like triangular pouch that safely holds the measured amount of tea. Tea pigs call these 'temples', and they hold safe the different sacred tea pig tea leaves.  No breaking of paper tea bags here or any of the dusty remains that go into a standard factory manufactured tea bag. Tea pigs temples hold proper tea, and leaves you can see the contents for yourself, if its chamomile you can see the pretty flowers, if its mint the temple is packed with mint leaves, if its Darjeeling early grey you can see the black tea leaves and pretty blue flowers mix.
Picture from tea pigs website.
You might be getting the idea now that I quite like tea, well that's because its the only thing I really drink, although I love the smell of coffee, I have never been able to drink it. Yes I've tried it in many forms and all over the country/world/place but with no luck, you can try to convert me but you won't. So, having a range of different and tasty teas at my fingertips is important to me. I like to drink tea pigs with my breakfast and before bed. Tea pigs are great at these times as some are caffeine free. For some reason, and I don't know why, but I like my tea pigs temples served in a glass mug (or in a bone china cup).

Tea pigs kindly sent a range of teas for us to try at our cake club recently...we had a few pots of english breakfast tea, which went down very well with the cakes and then the rest of the tea pigs (peppermint leaves; Darjeeling earl grey; silver tips white tea; chamomile flowers and lemon and ginger) were taken home to try by bakers and their guests. 

My thanks to tea pigs for providing these for us all to sample with our baking. If you want to find out more about the range and where to buy them please click here.


Please leave a comment...if you have tried one of my recipes I'd love feedback, and thank you for taking time to pop by to read my blog.

Susan x