I have been thinking a lot about tea and traditions this week. And it seems to me that you can't get much more traditional than a grandmotherly fruit cake. One of my favourite fruit cakes is this gluten free Irish Tea Cake. It is based on a traditional Irish cake which is sometimes called a barmbrack if it is served around Halloween time. For the festivities it would also have had trinkets baked inside like a ring, or a coin.
I have no idea if I am correct or not, but in my head I think of barmbrack as being more of a yeasted bread with fruit in it. This is most definitely a cake - no yeast, no fuss. It couldn't really be much easier because you don't even need a mixer. You do want to start the night before, however.
Preliminary preparations - the night before
- In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the following ingredients
- 1 cup (250ml) black tea
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 375g packet of mixed fruit
- Leave overnight to soak so that the fruit absorbs most of the tea
The next day
- Preheat the oven to 160C
- Line the base and sides of a loaf tin with baking paper
- Add 1 large egg (gently beaten with a fork to break it up) to the fruit and tea mixture and mix together
- Stir in:
- 1 cup gluten free self raising flour (I choose White Wings brand if possible)
- 1/2 cup of almond meal
- Tip into the prepared tin and sprinkle a few chopped nuts (I like pecans) over the top of the loaf to be a bit fancy.... (or don't - its up to you!)
- Bake for 90 minutes
- Once it is cool, serve it in thick, buttered slices... next to a lovely cup of tea. This loaf lasts well and is rather good toasted too.
What's your signature ingredient?
This cake also gives you the chance to put your spin on it. Your very own signature ingredient. Stir something quirky into the batter before you bake it.
Some chocolate chips, perhaps?
10ml of Chinese five spice?
Oh yes... the whisky... start with that.
Explore more of the Tea Time post series here
See the kitchen inspired artwork available in the shop today