Baby it’s cold outside! In the UK, we’re having some of the heaviest snow we’ve had in a few years, and I’m making the most of it by having a weekend of cosying up inside and baking some festive treats.
Bara Brith (“mottled bread” in Welsh) is a traditional Welsh fruit cake that is a perfect tea time treat. I’ve been wanting to veganise the recipe for ages – and it turns out it was very easy to do! Traditional Bara Brith can be yeasted, but this recipe is yeast free.
This cake keeps really well for a few days in an airtight container and is best served with a cup of strong Assam tea. It has just a few store cupboard ingredients and so is very zero waste friendly!
Zero waste cooking is all about simplicity, and this cake is a perfect example of that:
Dried fruit – readily available package-free from local markets
Self Raising Flour – from a bulk shop, or purchase in paper from the supermarket
Brown sugar – from a bulk shop, or purchase in paper. If you can’t find brown sugar plastic free, caster sugar or any sugar substitute would work well too.
Black tea – I use loose leaf Assam tea that I get from an independent tea shop nearby. Most tea bags contain plastic. Several brands offer plastic free solutions – for instance, if you’re in the UK, you can buy loose leaf PG Tips in card without any plastic inner lining. Or, if you’re a tea connoisseur, check out tea shop chains like Whittards, that sell refill tea leaves.
Spices – I use mixed spice in this recipe, which is readily available in glass jars rather than plastic from the supermarket. The glass jars are then readily recyclable, reusable or refillable!
You can use whatever combination of mixed fruit you like – I used dried unsulphured apricots, dates, raisins and sultanas, because those are what it was easy for me to find in bulk and unpackaged from my local market.
This recipe is also completely oil free, so it’s a great low fat option.
2.5 cups of dried, chopped mixed fruit
550 ml strong black tea
2 cups self raising flour
1 cup soft brown sugar
2 tsp mixed spice
1/4 cup golden linseeds (optional)
Combine the fruit and tea in a large bowl and leave to soak for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius. Lightly grease a loaf tin.
Add the flour. sugar, spice and linseeds (if using) to the fruit mixture and stir well. If it looks too dry,BaraBrith2 add a splash more black tea. Spoon into the loaf tin and smooth out the top.
Bake for 1 – 1.5 hours, until a knife inserted comes out clean.