Well as the title states,  it is “National Tea Day” in the UK. I love tea especially [amazon_textlink asin=’B007RXQOV2′ text=’Earl Grey tea’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’wwwlovetobake-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’25a32f9b-2675-11e7-9ec6-f1818fcfb262′]. This got me thinking about different bakes which I could make to go with a nice cup of tea. Originally, I was going to make a marzipan based loaf with my husband in mind, but then I decided that I wanted to make my all time favourite bake which is a Malt Loaf. For this I require plenty of dried fruit  but late, last night, I realised I couldn’t make this as I didn’t have enough dried fruit. I only realised this because when I make malt loaf I soak the fruit in Earl Grey tea overnight.  This plumps up the fruit beautifully and intensifies the flavour of the tea in the loaf. I will have to make this another time. 🙁

Back to plan A, I decided  to stay with the marzipan  based loaf  with the addition of sweet mincemeat, to use up the remains of a jar of sweet mincemeat.  A Marzipan and Sweet Mincemeat Loaf  my husband will love this as he is a great fan of marzipan. Also I have added flaked almonds to the recipe which I think is quite a “Christmassy list of ingredients”. Bit early I know – sorry.

In the recipe I have used [amazon_textlink asin=’B006MW1XW4′ text=’light muscovado sugar ‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’wwwlovetobake-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’8321f80b-2675-11e7-b41d-85af264f811c’]as it will compliment the other ingredients and is a sugar I use a lot when I make fruit cakes at Christmas.  I have not added as much sugar as I should have because of the marzipan and mincemeat which are quite sweet to start with.

With a tea loaf the mixture is more solid than a standard cake recipe so I have only used 2 eggs in the recipe to keep the liquid content  to the bare minimum. The tea loaf texture should resemble a fruit cake mixture before you bake it and that is what I am aiming for. As I only used 2 eggs in the recipe I decided to increase the volume of liquid in the recipe by whisking the eggs first before mixing them into the other ingredients. This recipe is a trial as I have made it up from scratch and it is in the oven baking as I type. Fingers crossed it works out okay. If it doesn’t I will say how I will improve it etc., and try it again.

As I wanted the [amazon_textlink asin=’B00JJJ2U38′ text=’marzipan ‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’wwwlovetobake-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’a0ca6fb8-2675-11e7-99f6-d9e4acb8afbb’]to appear in chunks in the bake I did not do my standard all-in-one method when making this bake. I mixed it up a little by rubbing the butter into the flour and sugar before adding the mincemeat. I mixed the mincemeat in slightly before adding the marzipan chunks. This is where I was very gentle and did not overmix the chunks into the mixture. I wanted the marzipan to still be in chunks when baked.  I added the whisked eggs and made a thick batter before transferring to the [amazon_textlink asin=’B00FO7S9L6′ text=’mini loaf cases’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’wwwlovetobake-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’b5221c68-2675-11e7-86d9-49bd123a40a3′].

The newest craze at the moment is tea and cheese, or so I have heard or read somewhere. Personally, I think this would be atrocious and that tea is a perfect accompaniment to biscuits, fish and chips, and by itself. Cheese with tea is a big no no in my books and I know it would take a lot of persuasion to change my mind.  Let me know what you think about this idea I would be interested to know.

[lt_recipe name=”Marzipan & Sweet Mincemeat Loaf” servings=”10″ prep_time=”10M” cook_time=”30M” total_time=”40M” difficulty=”Easy” print=”yes” summary=”Nutritionally. one laof contains 314 calories, 13.5g total fat (17% daily total fat), 42.8g total carbohydrate (16% daily total carbohydrate), 1.1g fibre (4% daily fibre) (based on a 2000 calorie diet).” image=”https://www.love-to-bake.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/marzipan2.jpeg” ingredients=”8oz self raising flour;4oz soft spread;3oz light muscovado sugar;4oz cubed marzipan;2 eggs;5oz sweet mincemeat;2tbsp flaked almonds;” ]Preheat the oven to gas 4.;Weigh the flour, sugar and soft spread into a bowl and rub together to form breadcrumbs.;Add the mincemeat and mix in slightly.;Add the chunks of marzipan and mix very lightly.;In a bowl whisk the eggs till quite frothy.;Add to the other ingredients and mix to form a thick batter.;Transfer to the mini loaf cases and put in the oven on a baking tray.;Bake for 20 – 30 minutes till golden brown.;;[/lt_recipe]

Well the tea loaves  are baked and I am having a piece now with a cup of tea. I have made mini loaves as I thought they would be a handy size for my husband to take to work for his treat. They have risen well and are a beautiful colour. I am very impressed with how light they are considering they are tea loaf recipe. The marzipan has kept its shape in the bake and can be clearly seen when you slice into the loaf. The whole loaf is a perfect little combination of my favourite flavours. Actually, I think most flavours are my favourites but with this bake I think there is no other flavours you would want to add but I am still thinking about that one – alternatives.

This recipe is not a conventional tea loaf but it is delicious with a cup of tea. When you sit and think about it there are lots of variations you can make here. You could add glace cherries, walnuts, or even chocolate chips (one I am going to have to try).  I would not remove the marzipan or the mincemeat as these definitely make the loaf.

Dietary changes which could be made are to try to use ingredients which are egg free, gluten free, nut free and sulphur dioxide free as these are the allergens which are present in this bake. Obviously, the flour can be changed to a [amazon_textlink asin=’B006MVUXFI’ text=’gluten free variety’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’wwwlovetobake-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’df675263-267c-11e7-b662-a569755cb337′]. If you can buy  egg free marzipan then great but you can make your own using water instead and there are recipes on line.  For the [amazon_textlink asin=’B002AEH6UQ’ text=’mincemeat ‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’wwwlovetobake-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’57ee9768-2676-11e7-a90e-815e3687d200′] you can buy vegetarian, which I do from Aldi, to ensure there is no suet in the mixture. Even better you could make your own which is something I have never done but there are recipes on line. The main problem would be the almonds in the recipe which can be removed by making  nut free marzipan (Real Food Tesco.com), or using nut free mincemeat (the mincemeat I use from Aldi is nut free) and omitting the flaked almonds.  Finally the sulphur dioxide which is present in the mincemeat can be removed if you use fresh cranberries, oranges in the recipe with the marzipan instead – in fact that sounds really nice I may have to try this out too.

Finally, I had to share a picture of mini loaf cut open to reveal the chunks of marzipan in the loaf. MmmMmmm!!

Mini Sweet Mincemeat & Marzipan Loaf
Mini Sweet Mincemeat & Marzipan Loaf

Hope you try my recipe out for yourself and let me know what you think. If you make it with any dietary changes or any other ingredient changes please feel free to share as I would love to know. Thank you for reading.