Welcome to Secret Recipes. As you all know, the authors you love know how to cook up some amazing romances. But, did you know that most of us also love to cook, bake and grill? Sometimes our characters even request that we make something they like just so we can share it with you, the readers. This is the place for you to find all of those recipes. So come on in and share a bite to eat with your favorite authors. Let’s get cookin’!
Romance Author, Dilys J. Carnie is joining us with the second of this week’s weekend recipes!! I’m always so excited when she visits because she always has some interesting facts or history to share. And you all know how much I LOVE research and history :))
Let’s get to it. Please welcome Dilys J. Carnie: Website
Bara brith, sometimes known as “speckled bread” (the literal meaning of the original Welsh-language name), can be either a yeast bread enriched with dried fruit (similar to the Irish barmbrack) or something more like a fruitcake made with self-raising flour (no yeast). It is traditionally made with raisins, currants and candied peel.
There are many different recipes for this bread, which is baked and sold commercially in many parts of Wales. The yeast version of bara brith has a limited shelf life and is best eaten as soon as possible. The version made with self-raising flour can be kept for a long time. Welsh recipes favour soaking the dried fruit in tea overnight before the baking.
Traditional Welsh recipe for Bara Brith:
In Welsh Bara Brith translates to ‘speckled bread’ and originally the name was used in North Wales only, with southerners calling it ’teisen dorth’ (meaning ‘cake loaf) In times gone by the bara brith would have been baked in a village oven at the end of the week with villagers gathered together for this weekly treat. It is a rich fruit loaf made with tea. Produced all over Wales the spiced fruit loaf is delicious when spread with salted Welsh butter.
450G/1lb self-raising flour
1 medium size free-range egg
450g/1lb mixed, dried fruit
Put the mixed dried fruit into a mixing bowl, pour over the tea, cover and leave to soak overnight. The next day mix together the sugar, egg, orange juice, zest and honey, add to the fruit. Sift in the flour and spice, and mix well. Pour the mixture into a buttered loaf tin, 1.2L/2pt. Bake in a preheated oven at gas3/160c/325f for about 1¾ hours. The loaf should be golden in colour and firm to the touch in the middle. Baste with honey whilst still warm. Allow to cool thoroughly before storing in a cake tin.
The recipe for Bara Brith can be altered slightly by adding a few flavours. When soaking the fruit, substitute ¼ of the fluid with a whisky liqueur. Replace the honey and fruit juice with 2 tablespoons of marmalade. Alternatively, replace two tablespoons of fruit with chopped stem ginger, and replace the juice and honey with lemon marmalade, and the orange zest with lemon.
Thank you so very much, Dilys. I know you’re quite busy and I know our readers really appreciate you taking the time to share this with all of us. This recipe sounds incredible!!
Have a great weekend and I’ll see you all very soon!