Farmersgirl Kitchen

A slice of cake and a visit from the Fairy Hobmother

Uncategorized | May 17, 2011 | By

I picked up a copy of the June BBC Good Food Magazine at the station last week and was immediately drawn to this simple recipe for a Family Fruit teabread.  It comes from Mary Berry’s book My Kitchen Table: 100 Cakes and Bakes by Mary Berry.  I own quite a few Mary Berry books, mostly bought in the 1980s.  
I have to say that I have many similar tea loaf recipes but I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a more even looking tea loaf, it is a masterly recipe.
Here is my version of Mary’s teatime cake:
350g/12oz mixture of raisins and dates (because that is what I had in the cupboard)
225g/8oz mix of light and dark muscovado sugar
300ml/1/2 pt hot Assam Tea, made with two tea bags.
275g/10oz self-raising flour
zest of a lemon
1 large egg, beaten
Put the dried fruit and sugar in a bowl and pour over the hot tea.
At this point you are supposed to leave it overnight to soak up the tea, but I didn’t have time, so mine got 2 hours and was still pretty wet.
Heat the oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2
Line a 900g/2lb loaf tin with baking parchment or one of those clever loaf tin liners you can buy from Lakeland.
Add the flour, lemon zest and beaten egg and stir iwth a spoon till mixed through.  My mixture was still quite wet, so I poured it into the tin.
Bake for 11/4 to 11/2 hrs or until it is well risen, firm to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
Peel of the baking paper or liner and serve sliced with or without butter – mine didn’t need any butter it was so moist and deliciously stuffed with fruit.
And so to the Fairy Hobmother,  if you haven’t heard of this phenomenon, then listen up!  The Fairy Hobmother grants wishes to good food bloggers. She lives at Appliances Online , who sell cookers and other white goods and hangs around food blogs looking out for people to help.
I was lucky enough to be picked out for a gift from the Hobmother when I visited Choclette’s Chocolate Log Blog 
 Here is what I got from the Fairy Hobmother,  I’ve been eyeing it up for some time and this was just the excuse I needed.  The only drawback I can see is that the writing seems tiny, however as it is a ‘dipping into’ book I’m hoping that that isn’t going to put me off.  I’ll report back when I’ve had a proper look.  
If you would like a gift from the Fairy Hobmother, leave a comment saying what it is that you would like and maybe you will get a visit.


  1. Leave a Reply

    Xinmei @ Pudding Pie Lane
    May 17, 2011

    This looks really good, and how nice of the Fairy Hobmother too 🙂 If I could have anything I guess it would be an ice cream machine I think!

    I love BBC Good Food, the pictures are always amazing and I love the layout too!

  2. Leave a Reply

    The KitchenMaid
    May 17, 2011

    This loaf is incredible – how I wish I had a slice right now, to give me a bit more energy this morning!
    Alternatively, perhaps the Fairy Hobmother could leave me a treat to cheer me up. A decent silicon loaf tin would do the trick – then I could make this loaf without the fear of it getting stuck in my ancient old tin!

  3. Leave a Reply

    May 17, 2011

    I've had my eye on that recipe too, yours looks just like the magazine picture which is encouraging. Lovely gift from the fairy hobmother too. Lucky you.

  4. Leave a Reply

    Please Do Not Feed The Animals.
    May 17, 2011

    Oh, I'm behind – I'm still working my way through the May Good Food! Must pick up the new one and, of course, now we have moved house I should really get a subscription.
    I would love a food processor – what are the chances of one of those falling into my lap? 😉

  5. Leave a Reply

    May 17, 2011

    Lovely looking loaf, Janice – I'm a Mary Berry fan too!

    I keep hearing about the Fairy Hobmother and the lucky people she visits. If I had to choose something then I would love a bean to cup espresso machine but that is probably asking rather a lot … the library book I am hanging on to at the moment (have lost count of the number of renewals!) is the 'Vicar's Wife's Cookbook' by Elisa Beynon (appropriate as I am a VW too) … but any surprise would be lovely!
    'Meanderings through my Cookbook'

  6. Leave a Reply

    May 18, 2011

    Your tea loaf looks great. I keep meaning to ask what foodie mags other bloggers are reading as I have been avoiding magazines generally until recently.

    If the Fairy Hobmother were to grant one wish it would be for a food processor so that I can simplify/speed up some of my from-scratch kitchen activities which is a bit of a sore point at the moment!

  7. Leave a Reply

    May 20, 2011

    Recently flicking through June's Good Food magazine I too spotted the tealoaf recipe- it reminds we loads of 'Bara Brith', a traditional Welsh tealoaf that I grew up with (or should I say on- I ate tons of the stuff…still do infact when I'm back home!) It is just a perfect bake to go with a cup of tea!

    Meanwhile my wish from the Fairy HobMother would be new frying pan!

    Enjoy the book!

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