As much as I adore cake, over the last few months I've been growing increasingly fond of tea loaf's, partially as they are just perfect for dipping into your favourite hot drink without falling to pieces and also that I tend to normally have most of the ingredients already in the kitchen!
This little beauty is just perfect with a cuppa, and is fit to bursting with delicious pecan nuts, its a little on the pricier side as involves lovely maple syrup (mine carefully bought back from Canada by my boyfriend last month!) and lots of pecans but I think its worth it! Its more loaf than cake in texture but still has a soft crumb. The lemony icing gives a lovely tang to the loaf and is ideal for afternoon tea :)
The recipe is once again taken from Step by Step baking, published by Starfire books.
Makes 12 slices..
350g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
175g butter, cubed
75g caster sugar
125g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
3 medium eggs
1 tbsp milk
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
5 tbsp maple syrup
75g icing sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
25g pecan nuts roughly chopped
Line a 2lb/ 900g loaf tin (I love the baking parchment liners from Lakeland)
Pre-heat oven 170o/ 325o/ gas 3/ fan 150o
Rub the butter and flour together until breadcrumb like (I cheated and used the food processor!) Stir in sugar and pecans
Beat seperately the eggs, milk and lemon, stir in maple syrup, gently stir into the dry ingredients until mixed together
Spoon into prepared tin and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer comes away clean, allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack
Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, stir in the lemon juice to form a smooth icing, drizzle over the cake and top with the remaining pecan nuts, allow to set before slicing.
With the icing - I had actually made two loaves, one to take to my family in Devon and one for my boyfriends mum. One cake I drizzled the icing with a teaspoon, the other by filling a small food bag, snipping the corner and drizzling that way - there isn't a huge difference but marginally neater using the bag: