Irish Barmbrack Cakes for Halloween
To make a more modern, kid-friendly version of the barmbrack Halloween game, bake several food friendly (and difficult-to-choke-on) items into your barmbrack. Those who find the items in the barmbrack get a prize. Be sure to warn your guest to eat with care to avoid a Halloween trip to the hospital!
This fluffy fruit bread is generally baked in a round cake pan. An 8 or 9 inch pan works well, but you can also use a loaf pan for a bread-shaped barmbrack.
This turns out best if you leave time to soak the fruit overnight, but don't worry if you can't-- a few hours is fine.
2 cstrong, hot black tea
3 1/2 cmixed dried fruits (raisins, cranberries, dry dates, candied orange peel, etc)
1 cwhole milk
2 tspactive dry yeast
1 tspgranulated sugar
3 cbread flour
1/4 cbrown sugar, packed
1 largeegg, beaten
1/2 tspground cinnamon
1/2 tspground cloves
1/4 tspground nutmeg
1/4 tspallspice, ground
How to Make Irish Barmbrack Cakes for Halloween
- Soak dried fruits in tea overnight (or a few hours if not enough time).
- Heat milk until warm. Sprinkle yeast and teaspoon granulated sugar over top and stir. Let sit in a warm place about 15 minutes, until foamy.
- Stir together the flour, salt, spices, and brown sugar in a large bowl.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and add egg, yeast mixture, and butter. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
- Drain fruit well, then add to dough. This should produce a smooth dough. If it's too gooey, add more flour.
- Knead dough on a floured board about 5-10 minutes. Dough should be smooth, but just a little sticky.
- Place dough in your greased cake or loaf pan, cover with a cloth, and let rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes, until doubled.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake barmbrack 30 minutes.
- Remove bread from the pan, flip it upside down, return it to the pan, and bake 20 minutes more.
- Bread is done cooking it sounds hollow when tapped on the sides.
- Cool on a rack before serving. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or serve with butter and jam.