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Irish Tea Brack



You are going to love this recipe I am sharing with you today.  It is Irish Tea Brack, and as one would suppose hails from Ireland. (Have I ever told you our landlord is Irish?)  It is a very traditional Irish recipe which is kind of a cross between a cake and a bread.  The word Brack comes from an old Irish word "breac" which means speckled, and this lovely bread/cake is certainly well speckled with fruit! 



It used three vine fruits . . .  raisins, sultanas (or golden raisins) and currants. These are soaked overnight in some cold tea. I try to use a really strong tea to do breads like this so I tend to leave the tea bag in the water until it goes cold. 



This recipe comes from the book "Homemade"  by Irish cook Clodagh McKenna.  It is the nicest brack recipe I have ever baked, and I have baked a few. The book is largely out of print now, but you can still find it in some second hand shops as well as buy it from sellers online.  Its a great book that I highly recommend!


You can also add the finely grated zest of a lemon to the mix.  Its not necessarily traditional, but it does add a nice flavour if you have it.


Its actually a very simple recipe . . .  you soak the fruit overnight in the tea and then the next morning, you sift together flour, mixed spice, baking powder and a pinch of salt. 


Mixed spice is a very British thing  . . . a mix of the warm baking spices . . .  traditionally it is about half cinnamon . . . then ground coriander, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.  Some  brands will also have ground pimento in it.  I have a recipe that you can make your own under the "Did You Know" heading near the bottom of my right hand side bar. If you are viewing this from a mobile device, you will find that section at the bottom of the page.


Once you get all the dry ingredients sifted together, then you can stir in some sugar and add the soaked fruits, along with any tea left in the soaking bowl and a beaten egg.


Mix all together until there are no dry areas in the dough and everything is well mixed. 


Spoon the batter into a buttered and lined tin and bake  . . .


One hour later you will be rewarded with a delicious fruity loaf that your family will love! 
 


It smells absolutely gorgeous when it is baking.  Todd came downstairs yesterday morning sniffing the air thinking all of his Christmas's had come at once.  Yes, it smells that good! 




We like it sliced thinly and spread with softened butter.  This goes down a real treat with a hot cuppa!

Irish Tea Brack


Yield: 1 loaf
Author: Marie Rayner
You are going to love this traditional Irish tea loaf! Moist, delicious and fat free! You don't need to feel guilty spreading slices of it with butter  because there is none in the bread!

ingredients:

  • 350g mixed dried vine fruits (raisins, sultanas and currants)  (2  1/2 cups)
  • 300ml cold tea, strong (1 1/4 cups)
  • 120g caster sugar (1/2 cup, plus 2 TBS)
  • 1 large free range egg, beaten lightly
  • 250g plain flour (1 3/4 cup)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tsp mixed spice (see my recipe in the right hand side bar, or if on a mobile device down at the bottom of the page)

instructions:

How to cook Irish Tea Brack

  1. Place all the dried fruit into a bowl.  Cover with the cold tea, cover and leave overnight to infuse.
  2. The next morning preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Butter a 1 kg loaf tin (2 pound) and line the bottom with paper. (I make an overhang so I can lift it out easily.)
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and mixed spice.  Add the fruit along with any tea still in the bowl, and the beaten egg.  Mix well.  Spoon into the prepared tin, levelling it off.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour until risen, golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  5. Let cool in the tin for 10 minutes before lifting out onto a wire rack to cool completely.  Once cold store in an airtight container.  This will keep up to two weeks. (Not that you will have it that long!)  Serve cut into slices, spread with softened butter, if desired.
Created using The Recipes Generator



 Irish Tea Brack 

Properly stored, this lovely loaf will keep up to two weeks.  I seriously doubt it will be around that long however.  Yes, it is THAT good! 



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Marie Rayner
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4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I love these wonderful old traditional recipes Monique! xoxo

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  2. THis looks delicious and hearty, too. Printer is running as I type! Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Oh you are in for a real treat Jeanie! I adore these old traditional recipes! They're the best! xoxo

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