Monday, 14 November 2011

Walnut Teabread

Recipe Number One Hundred & Seventeen:  Page 309.

I chose to make this teabread as it looked quick and easy to make. I was attending a cupcake lesson in the morning, so I wanted something I could quickly whip up on my return home.

I had such an enjoyable morning learning to make festive cupcake decorations with the lovely Jessica's Cupcakes. I came home with a head buzzing with ideas! The lesson has made me even more aware just how much I love talking, thinking, reading about and, of course, making and eating cakes!

As this loaf is called a teabread, I was expecting to have to soak the fruit in strong tea. However, rather surprisingly, a tea bag has nothing to do with this cake. I did, though, enjoy sipping on a cuppa whilst making it! I needed to use granulated sugar instead of the perhaps more usual caster. I wasn't really sure why it should make much difference as it needed to be heated so would melt anyway! Next I moved on to adding sticky golden syrup. Thankfully, I didn't find the experience too sticky as I'd put the saucepan onto my scales and weighed the syrup directly into it. A lot of syrup did of course glue itself around the top of the tin, but we should be alright as it's not ant season! I had to add a large amount of milk. I wouldn't have imagined it possible to use so much milk in a recipe! I also tipped some sultanas into the pan. Maybe heating them with the sugars and milk would help to soften them. At this moment, I heard an ominous sound behind me. My little boy was on the loose and had worked out how to open a cupboard; he was gleefully helping himself to a mug! To distract his attention, I gave him a sultana (I know, I've resorted to bribery), Isaac approved of this distraction. The only problem was, he kept wanting more!

After rescuing the mug, I went back to stirring the contents of the saucepan over a low heat. Once the sugar had melted I took it off the heat to cool. Whilst it was cooling, I measured the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Isaac soon had floury armpits as I had to drag him away from the kitchen cupboard once more - now where did I put those sultanas?! Of course, walnuts had to be included as they are featured in the title of the recipe. I needed far less than I had imagined I would; they looked lost in the bowl of flour. It took some time for the syrup mixture to cool down. I burnt a finger when testing it, ouch! Once it was finally cool, I just had to stir it into the bowl of flour and add a beaten egg. I apparently just had to stir to combine. I found the mixture to be very runny, which wasn't really a surprise considering the amount of milk in the batter. Rather annoyingly, I could see that some of the flour hadn't combined properly; there were still tiny little lumps of flour. I spent a long time trying to get rid of them. This led me to worry that I had over worked the mixture. I poured the runny batter into the loaf tin and then placed it in the oven to cook for around 50 minutes. Meanwhile, I took Isaac back into the living room for his afternoon biscuit. Within approximately five seconds swathes of biscuit crumbs covered just about every nook and cranny of the room – sob!

When I took the cake out of the oven, I was relieved to see that it had risen well. However, one side had risen more than the other. It was a fairly light colour, but felt firm and cooked to the touch. It had a wonderfully sticky top! I left it to cool in the loaf tin for ten minutes before turning it out to cool on a wire rack.

The taste was sweet due the sugars and the sultanas and the texture was very moist and light. It is the sort of cake that doesn't appear overly exciting, but you can't help but reach for another slice. If I get round to making it again, maybe it would be best if my little 'helper' wasn't quite so helpful!!!
A really lovely teabread :-)


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