For me, barm or tea brack is one of those Irish Halloween traditions. It brings back memories of me searching every slice of brack until I found the ring or my Dad teasing one of his 5 daughters who would find it and finally get married (wishful thinking on his part!).
I bought a brack recently when I saw it in the supermarket and thought I fancy a slice of brack with butter and a cup of tea. But I was so disappointed as it was so dry and tasteless. So I went back through my old recipes and found my Mam Vera’s tea brack recipe. I made it with my own boys and it was so easy to make, moist and full of flavour. I also made a few tweaks. I used spelt flour as for me I find it actually better for baking and also I am not great with wheat. I also reduced the sugar as the raisins naturally have sugar. You can also leave out the egg and use milled flaxseed as an egg alternative. The one thing to remember is to soak the raisins overnight or even for a few hours in the tea. I forgot which was exactly what my Mam would do so I just added another 2oz of flour as she would have done, sure it was grand. Now all you have to do is relax with a cup of tea and find that ring!! Happy Halloween.
Vera’s Tea Brack
- 8oz Spelt flour or plain white or wholemeal flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 300gm raisins or mixed fruit
- 300ml cold tea
- 2/3oz muscovado sugar or xylitol
- 1 egg or 1 tablespoon milled flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
Soak the raisins/ mixed fruit in the cold tea in a bowl overnight or for a couple of hours. Sieve the flour and the baking powder add the sugar, mixed spice and add the egg or milled flaxseed/ water. Mix together and add to a loaf tin (lined with parchment paper). Cook at 170 for 1 hour. Turn out the oven and leave to cool. Wrap in parchment paper and leave it to settle overnight.