(I’m in the middle of trying to articulate the doll tutorial, so am posting this as a bit of light relief for me- and you!)
I’ve been having cravings for fruit cake; Christmas cake was to dense: I hankered after something moist and lighter. This weeek I received a small little recipe book from Odlums (my mother has an ancient Odlums book of which I have very fond memories been taken out to make pancakes every Shrove Tuesday) The book has recipes by Catherine Leydon, and the one that appealled instantly in my current desire for fruit cake, was the Tea Brack. I have to admit that I was very skeptical: it seemed far too easy with way too few ingredients to be as luscious as I needed; but once tasted, I couldn’t have been more than delighted. I soaked the fruit in cold tea for a day or two, then measured out the other ingredients, it only took a couple of minutes to fold together, and an hour to cook. I made double this recipe: my sister and brother in law were visiting, so we ate one, and I wrapped up the second for my fruitcake-loving parents (this cake stays moist for days and days wrapped in greaseproof paper, so a great standby for visitors or gifting. If you can resist that long)
Tea Brack (Catherine Leydon)
225/8oz Self Raising Flour
375g Dried Fruit (I just used raisins)
300ml/1/2 pint Cold Tea
125g/4oz Caster Sugar
1 Egg (beaten)
Good pinch of Mixed Spice
Place fruit and tea in a bowl and leave to soak overnight.
The following day, when the fruit has absorbed most of the liquid, preheat the oven to 170’C/325’F/Gas 3 and grease and line a 2lb loaf tin
To the fruit, add sugar, egg, flour, and mixed spice to the bowl and mix well.
Transfer to the prepared tin and bake for approx. one hour or until risen and firm to the touch (you could inset a skewer to check it has cooked through)
Cool on a wire tray; then, when cold, wrap in greaseproof paper and try to wait for two days before cutting, slathering generously with REAL butter and eating many slices with a large pot of tea.
I LOVE Catherine from Odlums but have been known to make Mizz Allen’s tea brack on occassion. I have the tay cooling as I type to make this tomorrow. Thank you for the reminder. Not only am I forgetting my kids’ names of late and calling hot chocolate 7UP (Alarm!!!!!!) I also keep forgetting to make this!!!
Oh Gwen, tis a slippery slope!!! I, too, seem to have early-onset Alzheimers: have regular moments of walking into a room and standing there for several minutes trying to figure out what I was just about to do (and remembering three days later…)
In stitches at Wonderful Wagon’s comment…it’s a little blogpost I think, it needs its own comments section!
I have made Catherine Leydon’s tea brack before. I’m not really a fan of fruit cakes but my husband is and he loved that one. I can’t believe you posted the recipe because my copy predates my print-and-laminate system for recipes and is lost somewhere in one of the black holes in my house!!!! I will make this during week after I print this post out and laminate it. And oh yes to real butter always.
Oh this looks yum!!!
I don’t bake too often but my OH would love this. I’m going to make it this week. Now there it is, I’ve said it so I have to do it!
Tric, it’s so easy, you will surprise yourself 🙂
Joanna, you are SO organised!!!!!
I am so glad I found your blog! As soon as I figure out how much dried fruit 375 g is I plan to make this ‘brack’…. A new word for me! I look forward to the doll tutorial as a new grandmother in South Carolina. Do not fret about forgetting details; mothers of young children have so many ‘balls in the air’ one has to fall every now and then!
Janet, thank you so much for your lovely comment! I think 375g work out at about 2 and a third cups 🙂 I hope you do make a doll, they have a different “energy” that making with love brings, x
You just can’t beat a decent tea brack with lashings of real Irish butter. I’ve a want on me for it now, or maybe a porter cake. I’m off to see if I’ve any porter in the house!
This looks yummy indeed. I am very interested in the doll tutorial – will that be available for purchase at all?
Daffodil Angel (great name 🙂 ) I’m planning on it being FREE!!!!!
Oh, thank you. Will check back. (Also will try your brack recipe).
Thank you for sharing this recipe. I made it yesterday, it was such a hit with the family, there is hardly any left. A double quantity of fruit is now soaking in tea to bake tomorrow as they want more! Beautifully simple and scrumptious!
Sarah, that’s just wonderful 🙂 I’m also planning my next double batch!!
In the oven now… can’t wait, have had it pinned for weeks. Nom nom! 🙂
well holy god ! memories are made of this – mixed spice smells in the kitchen at home when we were kids – what a treat a tea brack was – just something about the plumped out fruit ! keep ’em coming please x
Thank you Jasser 🙂 when I make this tea brack, the house is scented beautifully for ages! Reminds me Os Christmas! Thanks for your comment x
thank you for including measures that I can use here in the US,I will be trying this real soon,the weather is getting blustery.Linda
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does the above recipe make 1 or 2 as you stated you doubled the mixture..
Hi Pj c, it makes one 2lb cake. I doubled and made two 🙂
I love making brack; I first found the recipe in a cycling magazine – the article was about the combination of quick and slow release energy. Ideal for a quick energy boost that is sustained with the slower release energy from the fruit.
It’s also supposed to be good for runners.
I’ve found sultanas to be better than raisins, or often a combination of the two.