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Introduction & method

This unusual treat is associated in my mind with the popular commercial version, Soreen. Their 60s/70s/80s/who knows advertising slogan 'where's the Soreen, Doreen' is forever engraved in some portion of my memory, read-only, unerasable. Maltloaf itself is a deeply weird thing - a rich fruity loaf that's not really bread and not really cake. But it is delicious - spread thickly with butter and wash it down with a cup of tea.

Maltloaf Recipe

Soak the Fruit

Make a cup of tea - remember the water must be boiling when it hits the teabag. Let it steep for 4-5 minutes so it's nice and strong, then pour it over the dried fruit. Add the sugar and black treacle or molasses, stir well to dissolve it all. Ideally you would leave this overnight for the tea to be absorbed, but 1 hour works OK.

Mix the Batter

Heat your oven to 140°C (284°F) for a fan oven, 160°C (320°F) conventional, gas 3. Add the malt extract and eggs to the fruit and mix well. Stir in the flour and salt and mix until the batter is smooth.

Make and Bake the Cake

Line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper. Pour in the batter. Bake for 40-80 minutes. Yes really! The recipe I was given said 40-60, but after 40 minutes the batter was quite runny in the centre. After 60 it was nearly cooked, so I gave it 20 minutes more. All ovens are different. The test for doneness is to stick a skewer into the centre of the loaf. If it comes out clean and dry, the loaf is done. Remove from the oven. If the top of the loaf is domed, you might want to trim it flat with a bread knife. Peel off the greaseproof paper. Pour golden syrup on the top of the loaf and spread it round the sides with a knife. Try to get it well coated all over.

Leave the loaf to cool completely - and seriously if you can leave it a couple of days it really improves. Cut yourself a slice, butter it thickly and enjoy it with a cup of tea.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Maltloaf on YouTube.

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Ingredients & Info

 250 grams dried mixed fruit
 250 grams self-raising flour
 125 ml strong black tea
 100 grams granulated sugar
 150 grams malt extract
 2 tbsp black treacle or molasses
 2 eggs
 pinch of salt


Golden syrup, to glaze. You should be able to find malt extract in health food stores, maybe pharmacies. Or you could use a quarter cup of dry diastatic malt powder.

US Customary/Imperial

Makes 1 loaf
Prep time: 10 minutes.
soaking/cooling time: 1 hours.
Cooking time: about 1 hour.
Total time: 2 hours 10 minutes.