Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tea Brack

Last year's photo because this year's brack is already wrapped and stored for tomorrow. Looks like I used some dried cranberries last year. Feel free to experiment with different dried fruits.

You still have time (if you hurry) to bake a barmbrack for Halloween. This isn't a yeast raised bread, so it goes much quicker. List of charms follows at end of recipe, but you can certainly skip them.

You Will Need:

3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup sultanas
3/4 cup currants (I swapped dried cherries)
1/4 cup chopped glace cherries
1/4 cup candied peel
1 cup hot strong tea
1/4 cup bourbon (or whatever whiskey you like)
1 egg, beaten
1 3/4 cup self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon mixed spice

Put the dried fruit in a large bowl and cover with the tea and bourbon. Let stand about 1 hour. DO NOT DRAIN.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a loaf pan with parchment. To the soaked fruit add the egg, flour, sugar, and mixed spice. Mix well. Pour into tin and bake 1 1/2 hours or until a tester comes out clean. Cool on rack. When cool, insert parchment wrapped charms (you don't want anyone swallowing them) from the bottom of the cake. I try to distribute them so each slice has a chance of a charm. If you are having several guests, you may wish to do extra charms.

Wrap the cooled cake tightly in wax paper and then again in cling film. Serve it with loads of soft butter.

Optional Charms:



Connie said...

I have never heard of this cake. I Wikied it up. So interesting. I'd bake one except that I am the only one in the fam who likes fruity cake which means that I would have to eat the whole thing myself. Or give it away to a neighbor. But they don't trust me. They think I'm an old hippie....because I AM! If I handed out cake with a piece of cloth inside they'd run me out of town.

Curtise said...

Sounds delicious. I haven't heard of putting charms in a cake, only coins in a Christmas pudding. I'm laughing at old hippy Connie and her suspicious neighbours! xxx

Goody said...


Have you noticed all these scare pieces in the news about dope-laced candy they're so worried about kids getting for Halloween? I guess because a couple of states legalised it?

I have to think this is terribly unlikely, but yeah you probably shouldn't go handing out cake with cloth in it (or teeny-tiny pieces of cardboard...)Yikes!


The charms are used for fortune telling. The coin is wealth, the bean poverty, the matchstick a stick to beat your spouse with (that's the non-PC version anyway) the thimble is spinsterhood, the button bachelorhood, and so on. The charms and meanings vary a bit by region.

And now to be *really* bread-nerdish...the "barm" in barmbrack refers to the yeast leftover from brewing that was used as a leavening agent years ago. That's why this quickbread sort is called, "tea brack" rather than "Barmbrack."

I need to get a life, don't I? Maybe I should seek out some of those dope-laced treats people are handing out for Halloween! Or, I could just stop by Connie's place ;)