Aromatic Tea Loaf

275ml hot, strong Rose and Bergamot tea. Use Earl Grey or English Breakfast Tea as an alternative.
125g each of dried apricots and dates, roughly chopped
150g sultanas
100g golden caster sugar
25g dark brown sugar
10 green cardamom pods
75g ground almonds
200g self raising flour
1/2tsp rosewater
2 medium eggs, beaten
150g icing sugar
1 1/4tbsp cold water (you may need more)
Pink food colouring
10 almonds
5 or 6 dried apricots, roughly chopped
  1. Put dried fruit and dark brown sugar into a medium bowl and cover with the hot tea. Leave to soak for at least an hour. Overnight preferably.
  2. Preheat oven to 150C/gas mark 2. Line a 2lb/900g loaf tin with baking parchment. Bash the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar. Pick out the seeds and discard the husks. Grind the seeds to a powder.
  3. In a large bowl add the ground seeds, ground almonds, flour and caster sugar.
  4. Add the soaked fruit mixture, the rosewater and the eggs and mix well to combine.
  5. Scrape mixture into prepared tin and bake for 1hr 20mins to 1hr 30mins until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  6. Cool in the tin for 5 mins and then turn out on a wire rack and cool completely.
  7. Transfer cooled cake to a board or serving plate.
  8. Stir icing sugar, water and food colour to make a pink thick icing.
  9. Pour over the top of the cake and let it drip down the side.
  10. Decorate with chopped Almond and apricots.
  11. Allow icing to set before serving in slices.
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