St. Patrick’s Day is but a week away and the days are getting longer. Those two things alone would put a bounce in your step as we look forward to the weather becoming warmer. The leaves and plants are starting to grow again and flowers are beginning to appear. The reprieve that warm spring days offer from the bitter cold days of winter is a cause for celebration. And what better way to celebrate than by baking and eating a cake. And what better cake to bake around St. Patrick’s Day but an Irish tea brack.
Irish tea brack is a very traditional Irish cake made with very few ingredients. It is very simple to bake, there is no creaming, beating or whisking required. My 2,5-year old loves to take over making ours at home. It is full of goodness from the nutrient dense dried fruit, requires very little added sugar (you can always reduce the quantity of sugar to suit your taste or leave it out altogether if your diet restricts sugar). This type of cake requires no added butter or oils. Read the recipe and method below and give it a go. You won’t be disappointed. It is lovely with a grand cup of tea.
2 tsp baking powder
375g packet of fruit mix
300ml cold Irish tea (alternatively: English breakfast tea or black tea)
125g caster sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp mixed spice
A little butter for greasing
Mixed spice is pre-mixed spices that can be bought in Ireland and the UK. You can make your own by mixing the following ground spices:
1 tbs allspice
1 tbs cinnamon
1 tbs nutmeg
2 tsp mace
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp ginger
Prepare the tea and allow to cool.
Place the fruit and tea in bowl and leave to soak overnight.
Add the sugar, egg, flour and mixed spice to the soaked fruit and mix well.
Transfer to a greased and base lined 20cm round cake tin.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170°C for approx. 50-60 minutes until risen and firm to the touch.
Cool on a wire tray.
When cold wrap in greaseproof paper and keep for at least 24 hours before cutting.