After growing up in Abergavenny, Wales you would think I would be totally au-fait with Barabrith. I am afraid not, in our house we had Tea Brack, and yes it bears a more than a passing resemblance to Barabrith, although I’m sure die-hard Welsh cooks will disagree. Tea Brack has it’s origins in Ireland, so maybe somewhere in my roots there is an Irish granny (since confirmed I do have the blarney in my roots!) who has passed this recipe down through the family, both my mother and grandmother cooked this delicious fruit loaf regularly. Their version did not include whisky which seems to feature frequently in the traditional Irish versions of the recipe. In the Llewellyn family method, the fruit is soaked overnight in cold tea, and then combined with the other ingredients to make a warm fruit bursting loaf. Said loaf could then be sliced and spread with butter and served at Saturday tea time alongside scones with homemade Raspberry jam, Victoria sponges oozing with buttercream and other scrummy, but heart attack inducing fare.
300g mixed dried fruits eg. Sultanas, raisins etc
250g Light brown sugar
300ml Strong, hot tea
300g Self-raising flour
Butter for greasing tin
1kg/2lb Loaf tin
- This is pretty simple as cake recipes go and fairly laid back. Just a few ingredients and a loaf tin.
- The night before put your sugar and dried fruit in a bowl, make your strong tea and while its hot pour over the sugar and fruit and stir well. The fruit needs 6-8 hours to soak up all the sugary tea so leave overnight.
- Next day grease your loaf tin and line the base with baking parchment. Preheat your oven to 150C/ gas mark 2.
- Mix the flour and egg into the fruit mixture which by now has soaked up the sweetened tea.
- Once mixed scrape into the loaf tin and level the top.
- Bake in your oven for 1.5hours or until it has risen and is firm to the touch.
- Leave to cool for 10mins before turning out of the tin and putting onto a wire rack.
- Delicious sliced and spread with warm salty butter.
- NB: It is essential to drink a large mug of hot tea preferably poured from a teapot with your Barabrith.