When my box of goodies arrived from Indigo Herbs last week, I knew what I wanted to make with them – a fruity tea loaf for Ryan. Ryan loves dried fruit, me not so much (although I am learning!), and he polished off my last tea loaf really quickly. I wanted to know what it would taste like with some less common ingredients – hemp tea, hemp seed, and dried mulberries.
Making a tea loaf is a two-day process, which I quite like, because it splits the effort. Day one is easy – making tea and soaking fruit in it. Whilst I was doing that I had a cup of hemp tea, which has a mild and pleasant flavour, although it’s taking me a while to get used to its smell.
Step 1: Make 250ml of hemp tea. In a bowl, combine 170g dried mulberries, 170g chopped dates and 225g brown sugar. Stir in the hot tea (I left the hemp tea leaves in) and leave to soak overnight. I have a plastic mixing bowl with a lid, which is really useful for things like this.
Step 2: On the second day, preheat the oven to 150C/300F/gas mark 2. Give the soaking mixture a good stir (the sugar does tend to congregate at the bottom), and then add in 280g self-raising flour, a beaten egg, 2 tbsp hulled hemp seeds and 1/2 tsp mixed spice (I used a speculaas spice mix). Stir well to combine.
Grease and line a 500g loaf tin, and then spoon the batter into it. Bake for about 1.5 hours, until the loaf is risen, browning on top, and a skewer inserted through the middle comes out clean. Turn the loaf out onto a wire rack to cool.
We ate our first slices when it was still warm, with a thin spread of butter and I liked it – it’s got some seriously caramel flavour notes. You do need a serrated knife to slice through the crisy crust. Ryan has been taking every opportunity to tuck into it since then, having tea loaf for breakfast, and pudding. He will certainly be happy to eat this as often as I make it! And since it relies mainly on store cupboard ingredients, we should always have them on hand.
— Emma Cooper (@emmathegardener) July 26, 2017
Don’t forget – if you’d to try it yourself, I’m giving away 3 prizes of Indigo Herbs hemp tea and seeds on Twitter. To be in with a chance of winning, follow both me and @IndigoHerbs on Twitter, and retweet one of my competition tweets before midnight (BST) on Tuesday 8th August 2017. Good luck!