Tropical Fruit Tea Loaf with Chinalife
Well, I’ve been treated with a couple of free samples from Chinalife Tea recently and challenged to make some recipes with their signature blends. Needless to say I was pretty excited by this and jumped at the opportunity. I’m actually really proud of the recipes I’ve created. They are both simple and easy for all of you to replicate but really tasty!
Today I’m going to share with you what I created with Chinalife’s Hibiscus Honey Orchid Tea.
This tea was really tasty. I tried a cup before baking with it, of course, and it’s flavour was lovely. I normally find flavoured or blended tea a bit weak and watery but this tea has a lovely strong tangy flavour and is especially nice when sweetened with honey as it suggests on the box. Speaking of the packaging – the box not only looks nice but is packed full of information about the tea, the company and helpful things like specific brewing times, there’s even information on the inner box too! If you are in an doubt of how to brew loose leaf tea then fear not as Chinalife even have a special brewing chart to help you out there too.
You Will Need:
100g Light Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Honey
225g Self-Raising Flour
2 tsp (ish) Hibiscus Honey Orchid Tea
250g Island Mix fruit
Note – I found this fruit mix in Sainsbury’s but you can make up your own tropical fruit mix if you want. To give you an idea here’s what was in this mix – Chopped Dates, Flame Raisins, Dried Apricots, Dried Pineapple and Dried Papaya.
This recipe needs to be started the night before. Brew a couple of teaspoons of the loose tea with around 300ml recently boiled water. This is more leaves than suggested in the brewing guide for this tea but I find it needs to be a bit stronger in order to keep the flavour once the cake has baked. Put your fruit mix in a bowl and strain the brewed tea, pouring it over the fruit, covering it with the tea. Cover the bowl and leave overnight for the tea to soak into the fruit. (If you really can’t wait give it at least four hours soaking time.)
Next morning you need to make the rest of the cake mix to add to fruit to. Firstly, beat the margarine and sugar together until they are light and fluffy.
Lightly beat the egg in a mug with the honey and then gradually add this whilst mixing.
Once that’s all added then you can mix in the flour. This mix will be pretty thick and sticky, almost doughy, once you’ve added the flour but fear not, a whole lot of moisture is coming it’s way!
Add the soaked fruit to this mix. Don’t worry if there’s a little liquid sitting at the bottom – as long as it’s not loads it will just add more moisture to the cake.
One the fruit is well mixed in and you have a nice smooth (apart from lumps of fruit) mix then you need to transfer this to a 2lb loaf tin. It’s a good idea to line the tin rather than just grease it as the cake will be in the oven for quite a while and may burn a little if directly touching the edges of the tin.
Put the cake in the oven at 180°C for around 40 minutes until the top is nice and firm and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Pop the cake on a wire rack to cool.
Now, I’ve found that this cake actually gets better the day after baking so if you want to do that then, once it’s cool, wrap it up in tinfoil or put it in an air tight container and enjoy tomorrow. Otherwise you can simply cut a slice off as soon as it’s cold! I covered mine in icing sugar too because, well, why not?!
It’s a really nice change from a normal tea loaf with the exotic taste of the hibiscus and tropical fruit making a bit more exciting! I suggest that you smother your slice in your favourite honey as an extra treat too.
The cake is lovely and moist and will keep for a few days at least, as long as you store it properly, so you can enjoy it for a few days if you can resist easting slice after slice with your afternoon cuppa! Of course, the best cuppa to have with it is the Hibiscus Honey Orchid tea!
I hope you give this recipe a go – I really love this cake and hope you do too. Please let me know if you do try it out.