I am always flicking through cookbooks and reading recipes but this time I had a purpose. My sister Sandra’s friend, Merle, had given me some cookbooks to look through and either keep or send to the Op Shop. This book had been earmarked for the Op Shop but two recipes in it appealed. One was ‘brown sugar biscuits’ and the other was this spiced tea bread (nut loaf). Maus likes a bit of cake with her butter so I was keen to try the nut loaf.
Tea bread or nut loaves are traditionally made with dates and walnuts in Australia so this cranberry and hazelnut version was a nice change. We both loved it – as you can tell from the photo – this is all that was left after a very short time. I had to quickly shoot or there wouldn’t have been anything to photograph. The ginger and nutmeg really shine through and the crust is nice and crunchy. Yummy! Best of all, I didn’t over cook it (which is my usual). It was lovely and moist. And it is dead easy to make – just add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon. Easy peasy.
This recipe was found in a 1994 cookbook, The Complete Cook, which was compiled by Judith Ferguson. It is now on its way to the Op Shop. I have photocopied the biscuit recipe. Thanks, Merle.
- 225g plain flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- 1tsp bi-carb soda (baking soda)
- pinch of salt
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- 225g sugar
- 120g dried cranberries (The recipe was actually for fresh cranberries but I have never seen them in Perth.)
- 120g hazelnuts, chopped (Although the recipe didn’t say, I toasted my hazelnuts and then rubbed them in an old tea towel to remove their skins. Alternatively, use roasted hazelnuts.)
- 120mls orange juice
- 30g butter, melted
- 60mls water
- 1 egg
- Line a loaf pan (about 22cm x 12.5 cm) with baking paper or grease it well.
- Preheat your oven to 170°C. As this is an old cookbook, I presumed the oven was not fan-forced. My oven is fan-forced so I decided to go with 160°C.
- Sift first 6 ingredients together into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the sugar, cranberries and hazelnuts and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the orange juice, melted butter, water and egg.
- Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and, with a wooden spoon, mix until combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for an hour or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the loaf comes out clean. (Mine took 70 minutes but remember, I used a cooler oven.)