For Christmas I was lucky enough to be bought The National Trust Traditional Cookbook, a collection of traditional british recipes, and whilst flipping through the pages, I came upon a recipe for Bara Brith; a cake made with tea. Given my love for tea, tea loaf and the National Trust, it seemed a natural choice for my next cookery blog.
Bara Brith means “spotted bread” and is a traditional Celtic recipe, which is popular in Wales. The recipe from the cookbook differs very slightly to the recipe for Tea Loaf, that my nan has been baking for the last year, the Bara Brith recipe having a slightly more sticky/sugary crust.
- 225g/8oz Sultanas
- 175ml/6floz Earl Grey Tea
- 225g/8oz Wholemeal Flour
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Mixed Spice
- 175g/6oz Demerara Sugar
- Pinch of Salt
- 2 Eggs
1. The night before you plan to bake the Bara Brith, measure out the sultana’s or dried fruit and earl grey tea, then pour the tea into a bowl with the fruit and leave to soak overnight.
2. The next day, measure out the flour and mix in the baking powder, sugar and mixed spice. Add the sultana and earl grey mixture then mix well. Due to the amount of liquid, the mixture can look a little dry.
3. Beat the two eggs together then slowly pour the eggs mixture in with the other ingredients, then mix together thoroughly. The eggs give the mixture the extra liquid to mix the ingredients together, though after a while, stirring becomes a little difficult.
4. Spoon the mixture into a bread tin
5. Now, bake the Bara Brith in the oven. The recipe says to bake for approximately one hour at 180 degrees centigrade, gas mark 4. Having recently moved into my apartment in Cardiff and going from a gas cooker to an electric, fan assisted electric no less, I found that I had to bake the Bara Brith on 150 degrees for one and a half to two hours, to ensure it is cooked throughout, but not burnt.
After removing the Bara Brith from the oven, allow it to cool in the tin before serving.
After having the first slice with a cup of tea whilst the cake was still warm, I thought it was a good effort, I then served it to a friend who said “This is bloody lovely Bara Brith” – hooray!