English Breakfast tea loaf and remembering Alan Rickman

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Hello everyone!
This is my first post for Fiesta Fridayand I would like to take a little walk down memory lane.Hearing about Alan Rickman passing away this week was such a shock. What a brilliant actor. Yes, I liked him as Severus Snape but my ultimate favourite was his role as Colonel Brandon in Jane Austen’s film adaptation of Sense and Sensibility.

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His passing reminded me of the good memories that film and his talent have given me. I remember, so many years ago, watching it with my sister and my mother. We would sip tea and and munch on bikkies and no matter how many times we watched it, our hearts would flutter when Colonel Brandon first set eyes on Marianne.

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Or when he saved her life.

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And read to her as she was recuperating.

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Even my father loves that movie. Alan Rickman was wonderful. I am so grateful, as all of us who are fans of his, to have been able to enjoy his talents. How he left this world is truly admirable. With dignity. With humility. That has an impressive impact.

My plan this weekend is to get cozy on the sofa with my blanket and watch the movie. I will have my tea and nibble away at this gorgeous tea loaf which I adapted from Jamie Oliver. It is easy to make and is just lovely. I hope you like it too.
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.

Serves 12

6 English Breakfast tea bags
14 oz dried fruit, such as raisins, golden raisins, cherries, cranberries[I used raisins (both yellow and brown)and dates.
1 orange [You will need the juice and the grated peel]
1 large egg [Room temperature]
1 ½ cups sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon quality pumpkin pie spice[I did not have this so I put a tiny pinch of cinnamon and powdered cloves]
1 whole nutmeg, for grating [ I did not have this so I put just 1/8 of a teaspoon of powdered nutmeg. Nutmeg is so strong].
1 lemon [The grated peel and the juice]

Put 4 of the tea bags into a measuring jug and add 1¼ cups of boiling water. Leave to brew for a few minutes, then remove the tea bags. Put the dried fruit into a large mixing bowl, grate over the zest of the orange and pour over the hot tea. Give it a good stir, then cover and leave to one side for a few hours, ideally overnight – so the fruit swells and soaks up all the tea.[I let it sit overnight]

When the fruit is completely rehydrated, preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a 4-cup loaf pan with parchment paper– the easiest way to do this is to use one piece to line the sides and bottom, then a long strip to cover the ends of the tin.

Whisk the egg and add to the bowl of fruit along with 1 cup of the sugar. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice and a few good gratings of nutmeg and squeeze in the juice of the orange. Mix until you have a dough-like consistency (it might seem a little bit dry, but it’ll be fine). Spoon the mixture into your lined pan.

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Bake in the oven for around 1 hour 10 minutes, or until cooked through. To test it, poke a skewer or a cocktail stick into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s baked through; if not, give it a few more minutes.[Mine took an hour and 20 minutes and when it got brown at the top very quickly, I loosely covered the top with foil. Then I removed it in the last 10 minutes or so. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t get too brown!]

Meanwhile make your syrup. Put the 2 remaining tea bags into a pan with ¾ cup of water and the zest and juice of the lemon. Gently bring to the boil, removing the tea bags after a couple of minutes. Add the remaining ½ cup sugar and bring back to the boil without stirring – keep it on a medium he at so that you have a steady boil for around 5 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture has reduced by half and you have a lovely golden syrup. Pour this into a jug.

As soon as the loaf comes out of the oven, use a cocktail stick or a skewer to make lots of little holes in the top, then pour the syrup all over it. Once the syrup has been absorbed, transfer the loaf to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

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Serve with a cup of tea and some butter, or with a few glasses of sherry and a nice Wensleydale cheese as an after-dinner treat.

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Enjoy!

Xxxxx Natascha

53 thoughts on “English Breakfast tea loaf and remembering Alan Rickman

  1. Welcome to Fiesta Friday, Natascha! I, too, was so sad to hear about Alan Rickman. I absolutely loved him! I own the special DVD + the making of Sense & Sensibility book set. On happier note, here you are at the fiesta and what scrumptious looking tea loaf you’ve brought us! Thank you! Mix and mingle with the other guests, you’ll find them very friendly and quite entertaining. 🙂

  2. I agree! He was a wonderful Col. Brandon…He will be greatly missed…funny thing…my mom recently visited and we watched Sense & Sensibility and I think the next day or the day after that he passed away…so sad…but he was such a good actor~ 🙂 🙂

      1. I loved the Harry Potter movies! Never read the books but was so lucky to have four boys who were just the right age for me to join them watching ALL of them!! 🙂 🙂 Rest in peace Snape…

    1. Thank you so much! It is a lovely film with Winslet and Emma Thompson as well. Definitely worth a go! Thank you again fir your kind words and have a great weekend! 😘😘😘😘😘😘

  3. Such a lovely tea cake! I love the sound of the tea soaked fruit and the tea syrup–both are such good ideas for getting tea flavour into a cake!
    I will definitely miss Alan Rickman. I absolutely adored Snape…though only after everything was very clearly put together. (I told my friend that I had thought Snape was evil for most of the books and she just laughed at me and said “Really?” incredulously, so I think I was being a bit slow!) I should watch Sense and Sensibility–the screencaps you posted really speak to a lovely movie.

    1. Thank you so much! The original recipe uses Earl Grey but I prefer tge English Breakfast. Ok, maybe you and I are BOTH slow because I thought Snape was an evil jerk too until the very end! Sense and Sensibility also has Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet. Great cast and beautiful movie. I have no doubt you would like it too! 😉😉😉

  4. Hello, Natascha. Welcome to your first Fiesta Friday. I am glad that you decided to join this wonderful community.

    Hearing Alan Rickman’s passing was shocking to me as well, though I don’t know him as an actor that well. It is still a huge loss from the industry.

    Moving on to your loaf, I don’t think I have heard of English Breakfast loaf, but it sounds and look really good! Enjoy your first Fiesta Friday and I hope I will see you again. 🙂

    1. Hi! Thank you so much! Love checking out the posts! The tea loaf originally used Earl Grey but I much prefer English breakfast tea. My hubby just loved it. Thank you again for your kind message. Enjoy the rest of your weekend xxx Natascha

  5. Welcome to Fiesta Friday Natascha, and thanks for bringing us this gorgeous tea loaf. Alan Rickman’s passing was a shock to all. Where in Spain are you? My daughter lived in Spain for a couple of years, and we took every advantage of visiting her and different places at that time. Do stay around, we love new faces 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! I live in Madrid. It is not bad but i used to live near the sea. It is much better for my health! Still, I cant complain. How nice that you are familiar with Spain too! Where did your daughter live? Where did you go? Any favourite places? Thanks again xxxxxxxxxx

      1. She was in Malaga, Barcelona and Madrid. We visited all 3 places. She now lives in NYC. Make the most of your time there. Planning a trip to Portugal right now, and I didn’t realize how close it was to Spain.

  6. What’s fresh breath of air this post is amongst all the food only posts, this fiesta :).
    Loved reading your thoughts about Alan.
    The tea loaf is absolutely fantatsic!!
    Thanks for sharing with the crew at FF! I hope you are having a great time :)))

    1. First, thanks you SO much for this lovely comment. I am glad you liked my post. Fiesta Friday is a lot of fun and it is great to see the collection of goodies!It is a pleasure to share the recipe. Thank you again for stopping by! xxxx

    1. Thank YOU so much! I love the part when Colonel Brandon turns to leave after going to get the mother and Marianne FINALLY acknowledges him by saying, “Thank you”. That part was beautiful. It was brief but Alan Rickman knew how to make the moment poignant. Great movie and brilliant actor!!

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