Reduced-sugar malt loaf

I've been playing with this recipe to get it just as tasty as a normal malt loaf but making it a healthy choice for kids by reducing the sugar. The key is to include dates and prunes as they bring a natural sweetness.

This recipe makes one loaf cake or you can make individual muffins. You can get malt extract from health food shops or order online (easier for busy mums).

Preparation 15 minutes

Cooking 50 minutes

Cuts into 12 slices or makes 12 muffins

100g prunes, finely chopped

100g dates, finely chopped

100g other dried fruit (I used raisins and dried cranberries)

150ml hot black tea (I used decaf)

130g malt extract

2 large eggs, beaten

250g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

0.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1. Preheat the oven to 130C (fan) and line a loaf tin or muffin tray with baking parchment.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the tea, malt extract and dried fruit, then add the eggs.

3. Tip in the flour, then quickly stir in the baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.

4. Pour into the tin/tray and bake for 50 minutes until risen and firm.

5. Allow to cool in the tins.

This cake improves on storing and will keep in an airtight tin for 5 days. Alternatively you could freeze individual slices or muffins.

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