I had a big sort-out of my kitchen cupboards at the weekend, and was rather shocked at the mountain of dry food I have managed to stock pile. I've made a new resolution to use up store cupboard items rather keep buying stuff and putting it away never to be seen again.
A happy side effect of all this sensible behaviour is that I've been baking quite a lot. I used up my coconut in some coconut and lime muffins the other day, and then I was able to transform some rather soft branflakes into malt loaf. It's a recipe that my mum used to make a lot, and we always called it malt loaf. I have since decided that it doesn't actually contain any malt, although it does have that characteristic chewy texture and I bet the addition of a bit of malt extract would work well.
It's a great recipe for store cupboard stash busting, and takes about 5 minutes to put together. It's dairy free (unless you use milky tea) and fat free, so apart from the sugar it's almost healthy!I used a 500ml yoghurt pot as my measure, and had enough for 2 loaves.
Mrs C's 'Malt Loaf'
1 cup bran flakes
1 cup dried fruit/nuts
1 cup tea
1/2 to 2/3 cup sugar (cut down from 1 cup in the original)
1 cup self raising flour
Mix everything together except the flour and leave to soak for a few hours or overnight. Stir in the flour, turn into a greased and lined loaf tin then bake at 190oC for 1h or slightly longer, until a skewer comes out clean.
That's essentially it, but here are a few extra thoughts...
It would work with other bran-based cereals such as all bran, or a mixture of whatever you've got in the cupboard. I think my mum has even used cornflakes too. The finished loaf varies quite a lot by adding different fruit and nut mixtures, and I would suggest altering the sugar content accordingly - a fruity loaf won't need as much sugar as one with more nuts. Normal tea (with anything from 0 to 50% milk) adds a nice flavour, but using fruit tea instead is a nice way to complement the dried fruit you have chosen to add to the mix. You can also vary the flour - white or wholemeal would both work, or a mixture of the two. I was able to finish up a packet of white then top it up with wholemeal for the loaf in the pic.
So I'll put the kettle on shall I?