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Old 10-14-2006, 11:50 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2006
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Easy-peasy Irish tea bread

The weather is cooling down here, so having the oven on in the kitchen doesn't seem like torture. I've started the baking season with this cake, which I've made on lots of occasions before as it has proved very popular. I'm not a great Delia Smith fan but she does have the odd moment of genius and this is one of them. This is absolutely delicious and must be one of the easiest cakes in the world to make. Disastrous if you're watching your sugar consumption, as it's absolutely packed with dried fruit. But good for people watching fats, as there's only one egg and some walnuts or pecans in it but no butter or other fat.

http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/i...d,1131,RC.html

The recipe says it makes two 1lb cakes but I use two 2lb loaf tins. I'm not sure if Delia has made a mistake or the tins were wrongly labelled when I bought them. I suspect she's the one in error given the amount of fruit in the recipe. I bake it for 1 hour ten minutes, so go careful with timing she gives.

The cakes freeze really well too but all my neighbours love this and comment on the smell as it wafts out of my kitchen. So I hardly ever find myself with a spare to put away for another day.

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Old 10-14-2006, 12:55 PM   #2
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Hey Snoop Puss ... I'm with you on the oven comments. I'm just making my first bread of the season today!

The Irish tea bread looks interesting, but I'm having trouble categorizing it. Is it more like a sweet bread (like a raisen bread) or like a fruitcake? Roughly what proportion of it is fruit and what proportion is the bread/cake?

Good warm and cold? Does it toast? How is it slathered with butter? (What a silly question!)
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Old 10-14-2006, 01:17 PM   #3
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Traditionally this kind of cake is known as a bread or loaf, I presume because of the shape (you bake it in loaf tins). But really it's a densely packed fruit cake. There is very little "mixture" in comparison with the fruit. I eat it cold cut in slices as is. Delicious. The first time I had it I spread a slice with butter, but it's really not necessary. Unless you're an absolute butter fiend, it detracts from the cake.

I can't get currants here in Barcelona. All the usual dried-fruit stalls in the markets won't carry them because they say they dry out too quickly. I have to bring them back from the UK when I go to visit my parents or I get friends to bring them when they come here. In Athens, I imagine you can absolutely delicious currants. On occasions I've had to leave them out and make up the weight with raisins and sultanas. The cake is still good without them but their rich flavour really adds a special note.
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Old 10-15-2006, 02:18 AM   #4
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Morning Snoop Puss -- thanks for the info. I will copy the recipe and give it a try!

Yes, we can get currents very easily. How odd you can't in Barcelona -- surely they dry out as much here as they would there. Maybe we're not fussy?!

(As a matter of fact, we (I lie -- hubby) are making stuffed chickens for Sunday dinner as we speak and a key ingredient, funny you should mention them, is currents!)
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