From Port Talbot To Pategonia
It's #TwitterBakeAlong (from The Baking Nanna and Robert Allen) and this week our challenge is to make the very traditional Bara Brith. A classic fruit cake/bread from Wales using dried fruits soaked in tea. Translating literally as "speckled bread" it has fallen out of fashion in our chocolate obsessed society. However, you can still find it on our own shores, although if you do fancy a bit of a trip then why not head to Argentina where torta negra "black bread" is on the menu after Welsh settlers brought the recipe to this South American country in 1865. This recipe comes from closer to home courtesy of Claire Clarke, of the newly opened Claire Clarke Academy, from her book 80 Cakes From Around The World.
Start with preparing and soaking your fruit in strong black tea. You won't go wrong with a builders brew here. Once soaked (overnight is best although you can get away with a full day if you forget!), it's time to make the dough.
This is a 'cake' version using self-raising flour although there are yeasted varieties. Sieve flour and spices before adding your fruit and any remaining tea, marmalade and a single egg. It's a stiff mix so persevere until your batter is fully mixed.
Tip into you a prepared loaf tin and level. You're not going to get a whole lot of rise so, if like us your loaf tin is on the snug side, don't panic if it looks rather full. Bake for a full 90 minutes until a skewer comes out clean then cool and glaze with honey.