Irish Tea Brack or Barmbrack is a traditional Irish fruit cake served anytime of the year. But, the Christmas time is reason for me to bake. The dry fruits basically comprise of apricots, plums, cranberries, blue berries, cherries, dates, raisins etc (you can end up choosing any of your choice). These dry fruits are then soaked in tea water overnight. The end result is a super –moist, flavored cake. The aroma from cinnamon, cardamom and mixed spices acts as an add-on to this loaf. I have added a slight difference by making it eggless.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Soaking Time: Overnight (minimum)
Baking Time: 40 minutes
1 ½ cup All Purpose Flour
1 cup Sugar
½ cup Sunflower Oil
1 tsp Vanilla essence
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp Cinnamon powder
1 tsp Cardamom powder
1 tsp mixed spices powder
1 ripe banana
1 cup soaked dry fruits (red cherries, blueberries, cranberries, tuty-fruity, apricots, raisins and golden sultanas)
¾ cup tea water
In a pan, heat water and add 2 tablespoons of tea. Let them boil of a couple of minutes. Turn of the flame and strain the tea water. Add all the dry fruits and soak them in the tea-water overnight.
In a large bowl, sieve All purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda and keep aside. In a small bowl, mash the ripe banana with a fork. Add sugar and oil to the banana and mix using an electric blender. You can mix them with a whisk too. Once, they have incorporated well; add in vanilla essence. Strain the tea water and add to the bowl. Keep the soaked fruits aside.
Grease the loaf tin. Pre-heat the oven at 180°C for 10 minutes.
Now, in two batches, add the dry ingredients and mix using cut and fold method. Once the all-purpose flour has been added to the wet ingredients, add the soaked dry fruits, cinnamon powder, cardamom powder and spices to the cake batter. Using cut and folds method mix them well with a spatula.
Place the loaf tin in the oven and bake at 150°C for 40 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean.
Take the cake tin out and let it cool for atleast 15 minutes before unmoulding them.
Serve in slices with a little butter spread over and a cup of warm tea.