Friday, May 07, 2010

A Taste of Wales

As it is time for Simone's Friday Cake Bake and as I'm still in Wales in my head and heart if not in body I decided to make some Bara Brith. After we'd walked along the riverside at Beddgelert were went into one of the small cafes in the village and had coffee and Bara Brith in a cosy corner where we lingered awhile looking at newspapers and tourist leaflets. I thought I would try to make my own Bara Brith or Welsh fruit cake.

It is quite easy to make by soaking about 10oz of mixed fruit in hot tea overnight. Next day strain the fruit and keep the liquid. To the fruit add 3oz of brown sugar, just over a teaspoon of mixed spices, (I used cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg) the grated rind of one lemon, one egg and 12oz of self-raising flour. Add the liquid a bit at a time until the mixture is a soft dropping consistency. Turn it into a lined 2lb loaf tin and bake at 180C for about 50 minutes. The cake was lighter in colour than the one I'd tasted in Wales but I used white self-raising flour and light brown soft sugar - maybe next time I'll use wholemeal flour and dark brown sugar to see if it makes a difference. It tastes wonderful sliced and spread with butter - or in my case Flora light spread!

I missed Simone's Tuesday Garden Rake this week but below are a couple of photos from the garden which seemed to spring into life whilst we were away.

I'm not sure what the tree in the foreground is called; it is very pretty but doesn't stay in flower very long. You can see the Spiraea Arguta or Bridal Wreath behind.

The Kerria Japonica, which grows near the green house opposite our back door, always looks lovely at this time of year.

On our way home we stopped at Conwy for a walk around and some lunch. Below are a few photos I took whilst we were there.


  1. Your Welsh fruit cake looks lovely Rosie and very fruity! I love fruit cake spread with butter or Flora! The garden is looking very lush too!

  2. You sound like you have the post holiday blues - wishing you were still there. Your cake looks wonderful and your garden has certainly sprung into life! So thats what was buried under all that snow!! My neighbour has one of those yellow blossom trees and it looks lovely. Enjoy your weekend. xxx

  3. I had forgotten about Quick sand - but that scared me too!! We must have watched the same film!!

  4. soaking fruit in tea? that is an interesting idea!
    Your cake looks delicious, it looks like a substantial teatime treat.

    How I loved the smallest house when I was a child, your photo brought back many memories.

  5. Oh yummy!!! I've never heard of fruits soaked in hot tea, that was really interesting! Wow Rosie, your garden looks like heaven to me! xxx

  6. That cake looks and sounds delightful with those spices and the fruit preparation.

  7. I am not one for fruit cake but maybe that's just the American one cause your's looks yummy.

    Is that a green with white polka dots table cloth? Very unique and I like it!

  8. Thanks for the recipe Rosie, think I might give that one a try. I do like North Wales but have not been for a few years. Lovely post.

  9. Simone - I love butter but have to use spread because of my cholesterol levels:)

    Diane - I always want to stay by the sea - I love it - not the quicksand on the beach though:)

    Valerie - the English fruit cake called Brack is also soaked overnight in tea - the smallest house is great isn't it?:)

    Michela - ah, thanks Michela - a little bit of heaven in my garden:)

    Paul - the smells from the fruits and spices are wonderful:)

    Melody - yes it is a green and white polka dot tablecloth - washable vinyl. I have a red and white on too:)

    Lyn, hope you give the cake a try and visit Wales again sometime:)

  10. My heart sings whenever I see your header Rosie - so wonderful!

    Your Bara Brith looks delicious - soaking the fruit in hot tea sounds very interesting! I may just try this recipe today.

    Lovely photos of your garden and I love the sweet little snapshots of Conwy.


  11. Jeanne - I'm glad you like the header photo and hope you do try the Bara Brith recipe - Conwy is a lovely place:)

  12. YUM-MY! I love fruitcake! Enjoyed your lovely photos.

  13. The tree with the white flowers looks so dainty and beautiful. One of these days I'm going to make this cake -it sounds easy:)