October 1, 2021

Prue Leith's Malt Loaf

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I've never heard of Malt Loaf until Friday last week when it was presented as the technical challenge on the 9th Season of The Great British Baking Show, currently streaming on Netflix. My reaction of course is Must Bake A Loaf. But the recipe needs a small amount of black treacle and I didn't want to spend $9.00 for a 16-ounces tin of treacle that I know will end up in the cupboard unused for millennia. I made half a recipe that is available from food bloggers and it was disastrous. I slightly burnt the caramel so I made a second one which was a success. I adapted TGBBS Prue Leith's recipe and the loaf is surprisingly moist, malty, and delicious. Nice with a smear of salted butter. The recipe has flame raisins but I used ordinary dark raisins because raisins are raisins and both of them are dark as opposed to golden raisins.

Malt Loaf
1 PG Tips tea bag steeped in 150 grams boiling water
200 grams flame or dark raisins
100 grams soft pitted prunes, chopped
½ teaspoon baking soda
150 grams malt syrup or extract
40 grams black treacle
80 grams dark muscovado sugar
250 grams all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Preheat oven to 335° F.
  • Line bottom and all sides of an 8 x 4 baking loaf pan with parchment paper; set aside.
  • Place the dried fruits in a glass container and pour the tea over. Cover with cling film and microwave for 2 minutes. Remove film and mix in the baking soda; leave for 10 minutes.
  • In a saucepan, heat over medium low heat the malt syrup and black treacle. Add sugar and cook until sugar is dissolved. Turn heat off and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Place flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Make a well in the center and pour the warm syrup mixture and add the fruits and liquid if any. Gently fold together then add the eggs; mix well.
  • Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  • Remove loaf from pan and transfer on a wire rack; let cool completely.
  • Slice when cooled and serve with butter.

Black Treacle

¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
¼ cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon citric acid or ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • Place ¼ cup sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a heavy bottomed stainless steel saucepan.
  • Let sugar dissolve over low medium heat without stirring. Cook to golden brown.
  • Turn heat to low and cook until syrup turns deep brown.
  • Slowly and carefully add boiling water then add the remaining sugar.
  • Boil on low medium heat until syrup has thickened a little.
  • Add citric acid or lemon juice and continue boiling for 5 more minutes.
  • Transfer into a wide mouth jar and let cool completely before putting a lid on it.
  • Store at room temperature.
  • Reheat in microwave oven for 15 seconds to soften.


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