I am not a fan of fruit cake, but as we were having some friends over today for Halloween festivities with the kids, I decided to have a go at making bairín breac. It is an Irish tradition at Halloween and the fun part is eating it and trying to find the ring. A ring is put in the brack and the story goes that if you get the ring you will be wed within the year. I used a recipe from gimmetherecipe.com and adapted it slightly by replacing the butter with margarine to make it dairy free.
300g mixed dried fruit
225ml hot tea
Juice and zest of one orange
125g light brown sugar
225g self-raising flour
A ring (I used one we got in a shop-bought brack, but you could probably get one in a euro-shop)
Make the tea.
Put the dried fruit in a bowl and add the juice, zest and hot tea and leave to soak overnight. (I only soaked for an hour as I wasn’t prepared enough to start this last night, and it turned out ok).
Preheat oven to 180C (170 for fan oven), 350 F, Gas Mark 4.
Grease a 2lb loaf tin and line the base with baking paper.
Cream the margarine and sugar together and beat in egg and sieved flour.
Wrap the ring in baking paper.
Stir in the fruit mixture including the tea and orange juice.
Pour into the loaf tin.
Bake for 1 hour. Test the brack with a skewer and if it comes out clean it is cooked.
Apart from not realising I should’ve started this last night and soaked the fruit overnight, I found this recipe very easy and quick. My oven is quite fast so I reduced temperature to 170C and took it out after 50 mins, it was cooked at that stage. Everyone who tasted the brack said they liked it, very little left now anyway which is always a good sign.