Unlike most cakes composed with hearty dried fruit, like orange peel, the goji berries are a bit on the tender side, so we do not advise soaking them for any length of time. Pour your cup of cool tea over them as you begin the recipe and you will be just fine.
As for the Chinese 5 spice, we use a freshly ground mix which is a bit more coarse than most of the ground spice one would find in the McCormick isle. If you can find a fresh grind fine, but don't sweat it.
We use honey to sweeten the cake. We use our own farm honey. Any light honey should work.
For some unknown reason, we began making this cake with self-rising flour and we have kept to it. If you use self-rising flour, remember to use a fresh bag as the leavening can grow stale.
Chinese Five Spice Goji Berry Cake
3 1/2 cups self-rising flour plus 1/2 cup for dredging fruit
1 tablespoon Chinese 5 spice
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 large egg
1 cup honey
1 cup strong tea plus a bit extra
1 cup dried goji berries
Prepare a Lucinda's Wood Baking Box, by lining with butcher paper.
Preheat oven to 300F.
Brew about 2 cups of strong tea. Allow the tea to cool. In a small bowl, pour the cooled tea over the goji berries.
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter, egg, and honey.
In another bowl, add the 3 1/2 cups of flour and the tablespoon of Chinese 5 spice and whisk to blend.
Saving the tea, pour the liquid off the goji berries and measure out 1 cup of the tea, discarding any extra.
Add the flour/spice mixture and the tea to the creamed butter, alternating between the dry and wet ingredients until fully incorporated.
Take the remaining 1/2 cup of flour and generously dredge the soaked goji berries. Fold the dredged berries gently into the batter.
Pour the batter into a prepared Lucinda's Wood Baking Box.
Bake for 90 minutes, until firm in the center.
As you can see in the picture, we let this one go a bit too long, hence the crack in the top... but it tasted just fine.