I've made tea breads for many years , as a teenager it was a cheaper version of a fruit cake . I have changed and added ingredients many time until I came up with this one . It is fruity but the addition of citrus fruits and marmalade take it up to another level .I like to soak the fruit in the tea overnight so that the fruit has time to absorb the flavours from the tea and to plump up the fruit.
300ml strong hot tea ( you will need 4 tea bags , I use Miles tea either breakfast tea or Earl Grey
Zest and juice of half a lemon and half and orange (Use unwaxed fruit)
2 tablespoons good quality thick cut marmalade
2 tablespoons of orange liqueur ( optional)
100g dark brown sugar
300g Self raising flour
1 heaped teaspoon of mixed spice
2 large eggs lightly beaten
2 desert spoons of orange liqueur
3 tablespoons of honey to glaze
The night before place the dried fruit, in a bowl,make a pot of tea with the tea of your choice and let it brew, once brewed pour the tea over the fruit Add the sugar and stir in until dissolved. Add the zest and juice of the citrus fruit, orange marmalade and liqueur. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave overnight.
Next day preheat the oven to 180F, 160C fan assisted, gas 4 Line a 9 inch round baking tin or a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment, lightly wipe the parchment with a little butter.
Sift the flour and the spices. Stir in the beaten eggs, blend all the ingredients well and pour the mixture into the baking tin, using a tablespoon dipped in water smooth out a small hole in the middle of the cake so as the cake rises it should be risen but not too cracked on the top.
Bake for one hour , check after 50 minutes.
Let cool completely before talking out of the baking tin. Place on a cooling rack. Place the honey in a microwave and warm for 20 seconds. Using a pastry brush generously brush the cake top with the honey. Store the cake for two days before serving. Serve sliced and buttered.
If you wish the cake will keep for up to a week but you can cut it in half and freeze well for up to one month.