Mixed Spice recipe

Irish Tea Brack

Mixed spice is a classic blend in the UK and Ireland, and one many of us will be familiar with from our childhoods. Only a small amount of spice is required and it works really well with the tea and dark brown sugar to create a sweet teatime treat.  Like all good traditional recipes I got this one from my mum.  In my mum’s recipe she uses ordinary self raising flour and caster sugar, but I have replaced them here with wholemeal self raising and soft dark brown sugar to give a darker, slightly denser result.   


Ingredients

  • 350g dried mixed fruit
  • 300ml strong, hot tea
  • 2 tbsp Irish whiskey (optional)
  • 350g wholemeal self raising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp Pinch Organic Mixed Spice
  • 250g unrefined soft dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten


Method

The night before you plan to bake you need to soak the fruit.  Put the dried fruit in a large mixing bowl, pour over the tea and add the whiskey if using.  Cover and leave overnight to allow the fruit to absorb the tea.

When you are ready to bake pre-heat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4 and line an 7” square or 8” round baking tin with baking parchment.

Sift the flour with the baking powder and mixed spiced together then add them with the sugar to the mixing bowl containing the fruit and tea.  Stir well with a spoon, then add the egg and continue to stir until the mixture is combined.  If the mixture is dry and is not coming together add a little milk.

Put the mixture into the lined baking tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hours 15 mins.  Don’t be tempted to open the oven door during the cooking time or the cake will drop and you will end up with tea brick, not tea brack!

When the cooking time is up turn the cake of the tin. leave for 10-15 mins then turn it out of the tin and leave on a wire rack to cool,

Serve in slices with butter, and a cup of tea.

The cake will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

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