This is a classic fruit cake with a simple name: Cup of Tea Cake. The secret to the cake is the Lapsang Souchong tea which gives it a strong, smokey flavour. How cool is that to have actual tea in your tea cake?!
Lapsang Shouchong tea comes from China’s Fujian Province and Taiwan. Spreading the leaves out on bamboo trays and allowing smoke from pinewood to permeate the leaves gives this tea its flavour. Yes, Twinings sells this variety, calling it “an adventurous tea with a unique smoked flavour and dark rich color”.
Marvelous Cup of Tea Cake
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup strong black tea such as Lapsang Souchong
- 2 cups mixed and chopped dried fruit: raisins, sultanas, currants, dates, apricots
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. pumpkin spice (mix of cinnamon, ginger, allspice)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg beaten
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, tea and fruit. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool completely.
- Preheat the oven to 350º F. Grease a 9 x 5 x 3″ loaf pan.
- Into a large bowl, sift together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and baking soda. Stir in the sugar, fruit mixture and egg.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the top is golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes on a wire rack. Invert the cake onto the rack and then turn it upright. Let cool completely before cutting into slices. Serve with butter.