Yorkshire Brack is not dissimilar to a rich fruit cake but with a stronger tea infusion and a little whiskey (optional). Brack, just like Irish Barm Brack is a perfect tea time cake (or any other time you choose) spread with a little butter. The success of a Yorkshire Brack depends on the soaking the dried mixed fruits in a strong, preferably Yorkshire tea the night before. The addition of the tea adds a subtle depth of flavor and moisture to the cake. For this reason, you will need a little planning to allow time for soaking the fruits. It is worth it though so don't be put off.
- 1 lb./450 g. dried fruit - sultanas, currants, and raisins
- 4 oz./125 g. candied peel, (chopped)
- 4 oz./125 g. glace cherries (halved)
- 10 fl oz./300 mL cold, strong, black "Yorkshire" or other tea
- 5½ oz./150 g. butter (slightly softened)
- /5½ oz./150 g. soft, dark brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 8 oz./225 g. all purpose/plain flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tbsp. dark treacle/molasses
- 3 fl oz./100 mL whiskey
- 1 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 4 oz./110 g. ground almonds
Place all the dried fruits in a large bowl, pour the tea over, stir well, then cover with a tea towel and leave overnight.
Preheat the oven to 325 F/ 170 C/ Gas 3.
Line a 22cm / 8½" cake tin with greaseproof paper or baking parchment and grease lightly with a little butter.
Place both the butter and sugar into a roomy baking bowl. Cream the butter into the sugar until light, smooth and creamy using either a fork or electric hand whisk.
Mix the flour with the baking powder. Beat one egg into the creamed butter, then beat in a third of the flour. Repeat until all the eggs and flour are used up.
Finally, gently stir in the treacle, whiskey, nutmeg and lemon juice to the cake mixture using a spoon or spatula.
Drain the dried fruits of the tea and add the ground almonds. Stir well then add to the cake mixture, again stirring gently until all the fruits are incorporated into the mixture. Make sure you do stir gently so as not to 'flatten' the cake mixture.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and gently level the surface. Cook in the preheated oven for 2 - 2½ hours or until dark, golden brown.
Remove the cake from the oven and place on to a cooling rack and leave the cake to cool in the tin. Once cooled it is ready to eat. The cake keeps well when stored in an airtight tin.
You can use a prepared dried fruit mixture available in most supermarkets, or blend your own to create an individual cake, balance the mixture to your preferences
Ring the changes of this delicious cake by changing the fruits you use, or maybe even instead of whiskey use a little brandy or rum. You are only limited by your imagination. They will all be delicious.