Bara Brith

If I'm baking, this is the recipe I must make the most often.  Bara Brith is a Welsh speckled bread made with tea soaked fruits.  It's an absolute doddle to make, and can sit perfectly happily in an airtight container for several days.  I always have so many people in my house, that I usually double up the batch and make two loaves at the same time.  I use the recipe from The Great British Book of Baking, just because it's always near the top of my book pile, and never makes it back onto the shelf!

250g mixed dried fruit (and do mix up your choices, this on has giant crimson raisins, dried pineapple, orange river sultanas etc)
100g dark muscavado sugar
225ml strong hot tea (no milk)
a good pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinammon
1/4 teaspon grated nutmeg
1 large free range egg, beaten
250g self-raising white or light brown flour

And you'll need a 450g loaf tin.

Put the dried fruit and sugar into a large heatproof mixing bowl. Pour over the hot tea and stir well. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave to soak overnight.

When ready to cook, pre-heat the oven to 160ºC. Sieve the flour into a bowl and mix in the rest of the dry ingredients. Beat the eggs then mix into the fruit. Lightly mix together the dry and wet ingredients.

Pop the mixture into your prepared tin and spread evenly.  Bake in the oven for around an hour, until a skewer comes out cleanly.  Leave to rest for a few minutes before turning out onto a cooling tray.

Start checking your cake from around 40 minutes onwards - when I baked this during the week, it was fully cooked at 45 minutes.

You can buy The Great British Book of Baking here...