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Borrowdale Tea Cake or Teabread


Medium-light soda-raised white wheatflour breadcake with brown sugar, egg and ample dried fruit (raisins, sultanas) soaked in tea. Cooked in a loaf tin, served cold, sliced and buttered.

Eliza Acton in 'Modern Cookery for Private Families' (Acton 1845) gives 'Borrow Brac' as an alternative name for Currant Cake, presumably from the Irish 'bairghean breac' = 'speckled cake' (OED). But it remains unclear when the name 'Borrowdale' was first associated with this type of cake.


The original source of this receipt isn't known. Can you help?

Borrowdale Teabread Recipe

1 lb mixed dried fruit (currants, raisins, sultanas)
½ pint strong tea
6 oz brown sugar
1 large egg beaten
1 oz melted butter
12 oz plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

Soak the fruit overnight in the tea, in a large mixing bowl.
Pre-heat the oven to 350F, 180C, gas 4).
Stir into the soaked fruit the sugar, the egg and the melted butter.
Sieve the flour and the bicarbonate of soda into the mixture and mix well.
Spoon into a lightly greased and lined 2 lb loaf tin and bake in a moderate oven for 1 to 1- ¼ hrs, or until firm to the touch.
Leave in the tin for about 5 minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack.
Serve sliced and generously buttered.

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