Sunday, 6 December 2020

The 'Perfect' Malt Loaf?

Ten years ago, I made Dan Lepard's Malt Loaf and although it was tasty, it didn't bear much resemblance to the squidgy, moist Soreen Malt Loaves found in most supermarkets. 

Considering how long it is since I made that loaf, I can't help wondering why I haven't made one since, or why it's been on my mind so much, lately.

Anyway, putting those questions aside, I thought I'd try Felicity Cloake's 'Perfect' recipe this time, as she does a lot of the leg work by comparing, and trying, available recipes from reliable sources, and taking the best elements from each. The only unknown factor is whether her tastes coincide with mine, but in this case, they fortunately did.

I followed the recipe exactly (the suggested size of loaf tin is a standard 2lb tin) and it really couldn't have been simpler - mix the sugar, syrups, liquid (tea) and fruit together, leave to soak a while, then stir in the dry ingredients, transfer to the prepared loaf tin and bake. 

9 tablespoons of malt extract is 135mls, which was conveniently measured out by filling a 1/2 cup (125mls) to the point of overflowing. Lightly coating the measuring cup with oil ensured the malt extract flowed out easily too - no scraping out needed. 

I also followed the suggestion to wrap the cake in baking paper and leave for at least 2 days before cutting it, difficult though that was. Knowing cake is in the house is such a temptation, but it was worth the wait!

The loaf was everything I'd expected - strongly flavoured with malt, moist, sticky and stodgy. It wasn't quite as squidgy as a Soreen loaf, but that was actually a point in it's favour for me. Much as I like Soreen, I don't like how a slice can be squeezed into a gummy ball about half it's size.

So, was it 'perfect'? Very nearly!

My only slight criticism was that the flavours of the prunes and the malt blended so well together that the prunes were only detectable as a change in texture. I think next time I will try making the loaf with a proportion of sultanas too, so that the fruit adds more flavour contrast.

1 comment:

Snowy said...

This sounds really good. I love a good malt loaf. Will definitely make this one.