When you can’t run, bake. I think that’s the rule.
Apart from RICE-ing (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation for those not in the know), mindful colouring, re-watching Catastrophe ahead of the new series and blog writing, I found that even standing on one leg I could hop around the kitchen and bake on Sunday. I made little meringues that I then stuffed with whipped cream and drizzled with berries for the girls coming round to celebrate the end of the XC season. They were delicious and the perfect end to a pot-luck dinner, which saw everyone bring their favourite dish along to share.
On Friday however, sans ballooning ankle, I made this tea loaf because if you don’t know XC races, as well as being about the racing, is equally about the post-run cake with the team. Homemade of course. Sophie whipped up a tangy and sweet lemon drizzle cake and I had a go at this tea cake, a little like a lighter version of a fruit cake that your Grandma might bring out with the teapot for a 3pm afternoon treat.
I followed a simple recipe from Ruby Tandoh in the Guardian, a young ex-Bake Off star with a taste for homely and comforting flavours. It was ideal to slice up, pack in a tin to take up to share post-race and keep a little aside to go with my morning coffee.
You can use any tea here but I used Earl Grey as it’s my number one tea and I drink it everyday (yes I pack the teabags in my suitcase to go on holiday). You simply bring the tea to the boil in a saucepan with the fruit, add the zest, sugar and eggs when it’s cooled slightly, then add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix. Pop it in a loaf tin and bake for 50 mins at 170C. Enjoy.
275g mixed dried fruit
300ml strong black tea
60g soft dark brown sugar
Zest of 1 orange
2 large eggs
275g plain flour
2½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
It’s a super easy recipe and the result was a deliciously moist fruit cake, which went down very after a muddy race and I enjoyed the leftovers too! I’ll definitely be making this loaf again, would you give it a try next time you’re in the mood for a little baking?