Tea and cake – 78p per cake, or around 7p per serving (based on 12 servings)

It seems a fitting thing to offer at the start of a new venture – a nice golden cuppa and something tasty and sustaining to eat alongside it. This tea loaf recipe is one that I’ve been using for years. I forget where I got it from, but I’ve made it so often that I no longer need to see it written down while making it. Using only basic store cupboard ingredients, and without any fat, it’s great as a tea-time treat, but can serve as a breakfast at a push. For the more adventurous out there, it is divine with cured ham (Schwartzwalder/Serano/Parma) as a lunch.

The following prices are accurate as of the 24th Sept 2014, using Tesco Value tea bags, flour and spices. Personally, I won’t compromise on free range eggs and so the following uses Aldi’s but you can shave the price further by trading these for battery eggs.2

1 tea bag (less than 1p, but listed as 1p)
around 250ml boiling water
ground white pepper 1p
ground ginger 1p
ground cinammon 1p
ground nutmeg 1p
250g raisins or sultanas 42p
125g sugar 9p
225g self raising flour 7p
1 egg 15p
spash of milk (if necessary for texture).

Make a cup of strong, black tea and soak the raisins in it for at least 4 hours. I’ve left them for a week in the fridge before as they only get better with time. Mix the rest of the ingredients into the raisins adding the spices to taste and bake in a loaf tin on a low heat until cooked through. Slice and serve. If you’re worried about it being too spicy, leave out the white pepper. The price can be cut further by using a Chai teabag instead of a regular one plus the various spices, but that’s only if you’ve got them in before hand.

This freezes well and will keep for around a week after baking… if it lasts that long. It works with other fruits too – in the summer when I use soft fruits to make iced tea, I use the pulp that I strain off instead of raisins and it makes a wonderfully moist loaf.

All in all, very versatile, very tasty, very cheap. Who could ask for more?

— Farn ❤

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