I've never baked a Tea Brack but it's really very similar to a tea/fruit loaf which I have baked many times. This traditional Irish cake is normally baked at Halloween and the Irish word 'breac' means speckled, which refers to all the fruit. This delicious tea-time treat is moist and full of flavour, the orange liqueur really adds to that. You can't beat a slice of buttered brack with a hot cup of tea!
300ml hot tea (use 2 normal teabags and 1 Earl Grey)
100g dried stone dates, chopped (I used currants)
1 eggs, beaten
225g self-raising flour
150g light brown sugar
1-2 tbsp Cointreau or other orange-flavoured liqueur
2 tsp mixed spice
2 tbsp honey, to glaze
The day before you want to make the brack, make the tea and leave to infuse for 15 minutes.
Place the sultanas, raisins, chopped dates (currants) into a bowl. Remove the teabags from the pot and pour the hot tea over the fruit. Cover and leave overnight to soak.
The next day, preheat the oven to 180oC/fan 160oc/gas mark 4. Line a 2lb loaf tin with parchment paper.
Add the beaten egg to the fruit mix along with the flour, sugar, Cointreau and mixed spice. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to rest in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool. While the cake is still quite warm, brush the top with the honey.