This one is out of my recipe collection, although I suspect it’s a recipe that Mum gave to me. As you can see I typed it up and stuck it in my book with cellotape, which now makes it a bit hard to read. If you’re having trouble it’s simply: 1 cup cold tea, 1 cup raisins, 1 cup caster sugar. Soak for 1 hour. Add 2 cups Self Raising Flour, beat well cook for 1 hour in mod oven – 180oC. When it’s cool you slice and butter it – quick and tasty.
I always marinate the fruit for my Christmas Cake in brandy and then slosh a bit more onto the cake hot from the oven. It makes a wonderfully rich cake which is great at Christmas, but is a bit too rich for other times of the year. This recipe has a great tip to substitute the brandy with cold tea. I’ve turned a failed Christmas Pudding into a cake by doing that, but this is the recipe I’ve come across that suggests using it from the beginning.
The first Christmas cake I made was a total disaster. When I cut into it I discovered that it was still raw in the middle and totally inedible. I’d only been married a few months so of course the first thing I did was ring my Mum to find out what could be salvaged. Mum calmly told me not to panic, to put the cake in a mixing bowl, squash it all up and then pour in a cup of cold tea. Once it was all mixed through to then put it in a pudding bowl and cook it like a Christmas pudding and lo and behold it worked.
When I found this old recipe in Mum’s collection it reminded me so much of that cake/pudding disaster. I’ve always thought it was a marvellous trick that Mum knew and I think this old Fruit Loaf recipe gives a hint of where she got the idea from.