This is a popular fruit loaf in Ireland. I sometimes buy fruit loaves in the supermarkets; they have some that are dairy & egg-free. I've always wanted to try out a proper homemade tea brack recipe though. After searching for a vegan recipe, I found that most of them used egg-replacer which I didn't have. So I decided to start off from a non-vegan recipe that I veganised.
I replaced the egg with 1/2 a banana. Only half was just the right amount to act as a binding agent without leaving the banana flavour behind. I also reduced the sugar because I thought the fruits would provide enough sweetness and also because I like this to be more like a loaf than cake. (I could have reduced the sugar even more I think...)
The original (non-vegan) recipe said to bake this at 160 degrees Celsius for one hour. But I started baking at a higher temperature then reduced gradually. It took longer than an hour and in the end I baked it for an hour and a half. It might have been because I used prunes and they contain a bit more moisture. So, if you are not using prunes, you might need less baking time.
100 g muscovado (or soft dark brown) sugar
1 tablespoon molasses (optional)
300 ml black tea (I brewed strong Lyons loose tea)
350 g mixed dried fruits (I used raisins, chopped dried apricots, prunes and dried cranberries, you can reduce the amount to 250g for a bit less fruit)
1/2 banana, mashed
240 g flour (I used 75g wholewheat and the rest plain white)
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Add dried fruits to hot tea. Dissolve in the sugar. Let soak for about 15 minutes.
- Mix baking powder and flour.
- Add liquid ingredients, stir and mix well.
- Add mash bananas.
- Pour into a loaf tin.
- Bake for 1h and 30 minutes (or until a metal skewer comes out clean). I baked this at 180 degrees Celsius for the first 20 minutes, then lowered to 160 degrees for the next 50 minutes, and then 170 degrees for the final 20 minutes. I turned off the oven and let it sit in there for another 10 minutes. (But do the fork test to see when yours is done. You might need less time...)
- Allow to cool before cutting.
I liked the way it turned out; it was crusty on the outside but moist inside. This is nice smeared with a bit of vegan margarine too! Enjoy with a cuppa tea.