The name for Halloween brack comes from an old Irish word brecc, or breac, which means speckled, which refers to the fruit contained inside.
With the week that is in it we have decided to find a tasty and easy to make brack recipe that is also gluten free. So after a lot of tasting we have finally found one. We were also conscious that shop-bought bracks can be full of preservatives and sugar, so this is a nice alternative.
- 100 g raisins
- 100 g sultanas
- 100 g currants
- 25 g dried apricots, diced
- 25 g dates, stoned and sliced
- 50 g candied citrus peel
- Zest of 1/2 a lemon
- 300 ml of hot, strong black tea
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 225 g of gluten-free self-raising flour (you can use normal flour if you don't want to make it gluten free)
- 200 g light brown sugar
- 1 level teaspoon of mixed spice
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
I am sure many of you are aware that it is tradition to place an object inside your mixture as a surprise for those eating it. Usually a little gold ring but you can also use one of the below. All of these can be found around the house or in your local pound shop.
- Pea – If you find the pea you will not marry during the next twelve months.
- Stick – If you find the stick, your marriage will be unhappy, and if you are not married, you will most certainly be involved in lots of arguments.
- Cloth or rag – The cloth will give you bad luck or poverty! Maybe it is best to leave this one out as I am not sure how hygienic it is!
- Coin – Finding the coin means you will enjoy wealth and good luck.
- Ring – If you get the ring, you'd better look round for a suitable partner because you'll be married within the year.
- Pre heat your oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas Mark 4.
Place all the fruit ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Pour the hot tea into the bowl - covering the fruit.
Leave the fruit to soak for a minimum of 2 hours - you can even leave it overnight if you want to intensify the flavour.
Add the egg, gluten-free flour, sugar and spices, and stir the mixture really well.
Line a loaf tin with grease proof paper, parchment paper or a loaf tin liner. You can also grease the tin, but we find it easier to get the loaf out after when lined with paper.
Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake for about an hour and a half.
Test the baked cake with a skewer or thin knife. If it comes out clean the cake is ready. If it's moist and gooey, put the cake back in the oven for a further five minutes and test again.
Leave to cool thoroughly on a wire rack before cutting to avoid crumbling.
- Store in an air-tight container for up to one week - although it is so tasty I doubt it will last that long!