When I was a child our Summer Holidays were always spent camping on a farm. Before we left home we would always make a few of these cakes to take with us. Officially called “Tea Brack”, in our family it is simply known as “Camping Cake”. A slab of cake spread with butter and accompanied with a cup of tea is just the thing to replace the energy used climbing trees, chasing sheep or – nowadays – walking up and down mountains.
Makes 2 x 1lb loaves
- 8 oz Sultanas
- 8 oz Currants
- 1/2 pint cold tea
- 1 egg
- 8 oz caster sugar
- 1 lb self-raising flour
- 1 level teaspoon mixed spice
- Place fruit in bowl. Mix in tea. Cover and leave overnight.
- Prepare a cool oven (325 degrees F, 170 degrees C, Gas Mark 3). Grease 2 x 1lb (1 1/2 pint capacity) loaf tins.
- Beat egg and stir into fruit mixture. Add the sugar, flour and spice. Mix well. Divide mixture between tins.
- Bake in centre of oven for 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 hours until well risen (until springs back and shrinking from sides). Leave in tin for 10 minutes then turn out to cool.
Hints and tips
I’ve copied the recipe out of our family recipe book and made no attempt to convert the measurements to metric – although I’m sure it’ll work in grammes!
Remember to start the night before as you need to soak the fruit overnight.
Although the recipe calls for two 1-pound tins, we usually doubled up the ingredients and make two 2-pound loaves. This means you have to lengthen the baking time and I can’t say exactly how long it’ll take. The cake in the photo was in the oven for 1 hour 55 minutes and a skewer was coming out clean – ie no sticky cake mix stuck to it. We quite like the top to be burned a bit, so tended to leave the cake in the oven a bit longer than the recipe says.
You’ll need a good bread-knife to slice the cake as the top does become very hard.
Slice it as thick as you like – typically 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch – then spread it with butter or marge.