In honour of St David’s day I decided to make a bara brith for the first time, inspired by having a Welsh best friend and Gingerbread Jenn posting a delightful recipe this week. I found a recipe on BBC good food and made a little tweak or two; I decided to use cardamom tea instead of black tea to add that extra spice (cardamom is such a lovely spice), gluten free flour and glaze it with honey. It was a touch crumblier because of the gluten free flour but it was still ridiculously delicious. I love a fruity tea loaf and this one is divine. Bara brith can be made as a yeasted loaf or with self-raising flour like here. I love that this is proper bowl and spoon recipe, I always like to make traditional recipes without fancy electric whisks because back in the day they didn’t have those things. Bara brith is traditionally served with a nice coating of butter. A quick word of warning, the fruit needs to soak overnight, so get it soaking now ready to make a bara brith on St David’s day morning!
The recipe states 300g of dried fruit, what dried fruit is up to you though. I went for a mix of currants, raisins, sultanas, mixed peel and cherries. My favourite dried fruits are dried cranberries and dates, I’m already plotting a version using those and perhaps a more vegetable based fruity tea loaf batter. Watch this space!
- 300 g of mixed dried fruit
- 200 g of light brown sugar
- The zest of 1 orange
- 250 ml of hot cardamom/black tea (or any other tea you might fancy experimenting with)
- 350 g of self-raising flour (I used gluten free, which worked fine but could have used an extra half a tsp of xantham gum)
- 2 tsp of mixed spice
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 50 g of butter, plus extra to serve (at room temperature)
- 1 tbsp of honey plus 1.5 tsp of boiling water
- Place the mixed dried fruit, sugar, orange zest and hot tea into a medium sized mixing bowl. Stir, cover and leave overnight to soak.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C and line a 1kg loaf tin.
- Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour and mixed spice, followed by the egg and butter. You should have a fairly thick batter.
- Once well mixed, pour into your lined cake tin and bake in the oven for 1 hr 15 mins. Check if it is cooked by inserting a skewer, it will come out clean once the cake it cooked. If your cake browns too quickly, cover it in foil.
- Mix the honey and boiling water together in a small bowl, just prior to removing the cake from the oven (or immediately afterwards).
- Remove from the oven and glaze the top of the cake with your honey mixture. Leave the cake in the tin for ten minutes.
- Remove the cake from the tin and leave it to cool completely.
- Once cooled, slice and serve with (optional) slatherings of butter.