Time taken: Ten minutes, then ten minutes, then a long bake in the oven.
Ingredients: 175g currants, 175g sultanas, 225g light brown sugar, 300ml strong hot tea & an egg.
It’s Friday time! At last, Friday has come!! Everything is going to be A-OK now. A few hours left at work for most… and then you’re free. :) The sun’s shining outside and you could do anything with your weekend! The world is your oyster!
Is it just me or has everyone been incredibly productive this week?? It seems like everyone has been getting things done… and then more and more things! There’s been no stopping people! So, this week, my flatmate Godica journeyed down to London for a big interview aaaaaand… she’s scored herself an offer to study for a postgrad nursing diploma at South Bank Uni! Which she can defer for a year so that she can travel around Australia with my flatmate Brummanie!! Such great news! She was really nervous and so we’re all really proud of her. :) Also, Godica found out today that she's got a summer job at Buckingham Palace to help her save some cash for travels! Rubbing shoulders with royalty! Best news EVER.
ALSO my flatmate Dr Davies took a trip to London too (apparently, it’s the THING to have been doing this week). She also had big interviews for further study after uni… and she’s been invited to join a lab down in the capital city to study for her PhD!!! Dr Davies is ACTUALLY going to be a doctor. It’s terrifying! I don’t know quite where she’s been made an offer, and don’t at all understand what it is she’ll be doing her PhD on, but she’s doing one!
Such an exciting time. In Newcastle, me and Brummanie and Tiddy, we haven’t exactly been scoring ourselves big career offers this week. Not quite. BUT we battled through 2 ½ days without hot water for showers after Northumbria Water had a bloody disaster with a pipe nearby, which is achievement enough for me.
And this week I wrote a full draft of my dissertation. I actually wrote it. And yesterday I printed it. All 126 pages of it, complete with 97 figures and 107 references. My baby. So, this weekend, I’m taking a few days off to clear my mind and have a rest. Then on Monday I’m whipping the dissertation back out again for a big read through, and after final edits I can have it bound and submitted! This is very scary.
But the prospect of a few days break from my work is wonderful. It’s all winding down now. On Wednesday night, Woody took me out for pizza and to see Kingsmen (definitely a lads film) at the cinema, complete with back row seats and vegetarian sweets! Then, last night, I had my geography friends Floss and Fizz over for a dinner party. Two glasses of wine went straight to my head! But I still managed to pull together a veggie Thai green curry, with fruit salad for dessert. The girls were most complimentary. :)
And today… my Father Bear is driving up to Newcastle to visit! I’m so excited! Especially, to see me my dad’s taken a day off work and he’s embarking on a long drive up the country to Newcastle. I’m so lucky! Today, if the sunshine holds on, we’re going to take a big walk around the Quayside of Newcastle and hopefully find some cask ale bars to pay a visit to. And, for my dad’s arrival, I’ve got my bake on!
This morning, I’ve baked a Bara Brith Teabread. Mmm. Bara Brith is a reeeally fruity, traditionally Welsh teabread. My flatmate Dr Davies is half-Welsh and so she has introduced us to this! To make Bara Brith you soak fruit overnight in tea, before you bake this bread, and so it’s suuuper moist. Some fruit cakes can be quite dry and tough – this is not one of them.
Hopefully, this will be a good reward for my dad when he gets here after his long drive! I wanted to bake something for him coming up and, for once, give something other than banana bread a whirl. I’m not eating chocolate due to Lent and so my options were limited. But Bara Brith was the perfect solution! I can report that the teabread has baked superbly and now the house smells like a DREAM. Sooo homely.
To make your Bara Brith, which EVERYONE needs to do, follow these 10 easy steps…
1. Boil the kettle and then pour 300ml hot water into a measuring jug.
2. Chuck 3 teabags into your water and leave your tea to brew for 5 minutes or so.
3. Meanwhile, measure 175g sultanas, 175g currants and 225g light brown sugar into a mixing bowl.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: This recipe comes from my Mary Berry ‘100 Cakes and Bakes’ book. In the book, Mary calls for you to use light muscovado sugar. I found some of this sugar in the baking cupboard, but there was only about 50g of it left. So, the rest I made up with just light brown sugar. I have to report that both sugars look EXACTLY THE SAME to me. And the teabread seems to have turned out fine without all of the muscovado sugar that was requested. So I don’t think it’s all that essential. Just any light brown sugar you can find, that should do the job.
4. Remove your teabags from your tea and then pour it over your fruit and sugar. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave your fruit to soak overnight.
5. The next day, heat your oven to 150˚C.
6. Measure out 275g self-raising flour. Sift this over your bowl of fruit and then crack an egg into the bowl, too.
7. Mix it up!
8. Grease a loaf tin and line this with baking paper. Then spoon your mix into the prepared tin.
9. Safely transport into the oven to bake for 90 minutes.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: Leave your kitchen door open and the smell of this lovely bread should seep through your whole house. Literally, it’s like you’ve lit ten scented candles.
10. When your bread is well-risen, firm to touch and a knife jabbed in the middle comes out clean, then your teabread has baked! Leave it to cool in its tin for ten minutes, before you tip your teabread out onto a cooling rack. Job done!
ChefBeHere Top Tip: Slice and butter your teabread, and serve warm or when cooled. Enjoy!
Here’s my wonderful Bara Brith…
So, this recipe is wonderfully simple. There are only six ingredients! And one of them is a brew! It’s very easy to bake. Plus, you can bake this recipe at incredibly little cost, and it only really requires twenty minutes of your time in the kitchen, so you don’t have to dedicate heaps of your work/study/relaxation hours to your teabread.
ALSO there’s fruit in Bara Brith. So it scores points for health in my books! And your house will smell, and your bread will taste, as if you’re in a country cottage in rural Wales. It’s the best.
I feel that everyone, each and every one of you, deserves Bara Brith this weekend. We’ve all worked hard this week and so a light spot of baking is most deserved. I hope you have a chilled, sunny weekend, readers. And that you have a wonderful start to March. And that my dad likes Bara Brith!!