Bara Brith literally translates from Welsh as Speckled Bread and it can either be a yeasted bread enriched with dried fruit or a type of fruit cake made with self-raising flour. It is said that most towns in Wales have their own version. We have gone for this cake version from visitwales.com but in the tradition of making it your own the Gents have substituted the tea for beer... of course!
Start by putting the dried fruit into a mixing bowl and pouring over your liquid. We used The Rev. James (Original) ale, a Welsh beer, but you can choose your favourite tipple or opt for tea. Cover and leave to soak overnight.
The next day you mix together the sugar, egg, orange juice, orange zest and honey. Add this mixture to the soaked fruit then sift in the flour and spices before mixing well. We opted for brown self-raising flour as this is what we had in the cupboard. In doing so we needed to add a splash more beer to loosen the mix slightly.
Spoon the mixture into a prepared loaf tin and bake in a preheated oven for about 1¾ hours (it sounds like a very, very long time, but low and slow ensures your cake will be cooked though without burning (The loaf should be deeply golden in colour). Whilst it is still warm paint with honey for a lovely sweet glaze.
Serve sliced with butter or plain with a cuppa. You could even toast it.