Cakes flavoured with strong tea and dense with fruit are very much in the Celtic tradition, with bannock, barm brack and bara brith being the Scottish, Irish and Welsh variations respectively. Some are baked with yeast, though these days it is more common to use self-raising flour.
Put the cold tea in a bowl with the sultanas, sugar and chopped mixed peel. Stir, cling-wrap the top and leave overnight.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/ gas 4. Butter a
Sieve the self-raising flour into the mixture with the beaten egg and beat together with a wooden spoon.
Turn this mixture into the cake tin and bake for 1¾ hours, when a skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes after you take it from the oven, then turn out on a wire rack to cool.
Serve the tea cake cut into thick slices and buttered.
© 1998 Alastair Little and Richard Whittington estate. All rights reserved.