Ness over at JibberJabberUk has a new Love Cake challenge and this month’s theme is Giving Up – she doesn’t of course mean giving up cake but bake a cake without one of the four basic cake ingredients – wheat flour, butter, eggs and sugar. A favourite fat free bake here at the Kitchen Shed is malt loaf, the perfect entry for the Love Cake challenge. I’ve been thinking about using honey instead of sugar in my malt loaf so you could say I’ve omitted the sugar as well. Okay, honey is of course still “sugar” – I’m not trying to kid myself it’s totally good for me. But there are benefits to using honey – it has a lower glycemic index and as it’s sweeter than sugar you use less.
There are a few considerations to be taken into account when exchanging honey for sugar in a recipe: it contains water so you need less liquid; honey is naturally acidic so I’ve added bicarbonate of soda; honey browns quicker in baking but I use a low temperature setting ; honey remains moist for longer in bakes which is perfect for sticky gooey malt loaf.
We love the taste of honey but for those of you who aren’t so sure I’ve included the sugar version too.
Honey Glazed Malt Loaf
- 200g honey or 250g dark brown sugar
- 200g malt extract
- 200ml boiling water if using honey or 250ml if using sugar
- 2 teabags
- 150g sultanas
- 150g raisins
- 2 beaten eggs
- 350g sieved plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (honey version)
- Extra honey for glazing
150 C / 300 F / Gas Mark 2
Grease and line:
Large loaf tin
- Add honey (or sugar), malt extract, boiling water, teabags and fruit to a medium saucepan and stir well.
- Place pan on a gentle heat until the honey or sugar and malt extract have dissolved.
- Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
- I like to leave mine overnight or for at least a couple of hours.
- Remove the teabags.
- Add beaten eggs to your fruit and malt mix (I use the saucepan to save on washing up)
- Give it a good stir before adding the flour and baking powder and bicarb if using.
- Mix well making sure you don’t have any pockets of flour left in your mixture.
- Transfer to your prepared loaf tin.
- Bake in the oven for about 1½ hours until firm and well risen.
- Remove from the oven and brush liberally with honey to glaze and leave to cool.
- Remove the loaf from the tin.
The malt loaf does get stickier and gooier after a few days, so if you can wait that long, wrap it up in greaseproof paper and store in an airtight container.
If like Mary Berry, you prefer to bake loaves in smaller 1 lb tins, you could divide the mixture between two tins and bake for 50 minutes to one hour. I have found though, a single large loaf bakes pretty evenly and if you are worried your loaf might be overbrowning, pop some foil over your loaf for the last half hour of baking.
We love our honey malt loaf sliced and spread with butter.
Ness reckons she’ll be impressed if two main baking ingredients are left out for her Giving Up challenge, so here’s a honey glazed malt loaf, without sugar and without fat so we’ll wait for the verdict 🙂