Tuesday 21 November 2017

Barmbrack

Kevin Dundon

This recipe is steeped in tradition. You can include many things that will foretell the future. Find the ring, for example, and you'll be married within a year, but find the pea and you'll be on the shelf forever. A rag represents poverty while a coin will bring wealth.

Of course, the truth of this is very questionable, but it makes for a fun evening!

You will need

6oz/175g brown sugar

1lb/450g mixed dried fruit

4oz/110g mixed candied peel

5fl oz/150ml strong cold tea

1 egg lightly beaten

9oz/250g plain flour

½ tsp mixed spice

½ level tsp bread soda

Optional traditional additions (to be wrapped in tinfoil or baking parchment)

1 ring

1 pea

Piece of cloth

1 coin

Method

Put the sugar, mixed dried fruit and candied peel in a bowl with the cold tea. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and allow to infuse overnight.

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Grease a seven-inch-deep cake tin and line the base of the tin with some baking parchment.

Add the lightly beaten egg to the fruit mixture. Sieve the flour, mixed spice and bread soda together and fold into the mixture. If you are putting in a ring, coin, rag, pea, etc, wrap them in tinfoil or baking parchment and mix into the cake mixture at this stage.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, then place in the pre-heated oven and bake for one-and-a-half hours. Cool in the tin, then turn out. Place on a serving plate to slice.

Serve warm with some butter.

Irish Independent

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