16 Jan 2022

Harvest time baking

It is now time to enjoy the fruits of the harvest like the apples and plums along with the new season raisins and sultanas and plump cherries, I know we can get them all year round in the shops but they do actually have a beginning and an end to the season.

It is now time to enjoy the fruits of the harvest like the apples and plums along with the new season raisins and sultanas and plump cherries, I know we can get them all year round in the shops but they do actually have a beginning and an end to the season.

It is great to seethe new season dried fruit coming in, plump cherries and juicy lemon and orange peel along with the fresh almonds and walnuts, yes the new season Christmas fruit is here.

This week I have given you a recipe for a hot tea brack using luxury fruit mix which we mix up from our Californian raisins and Australian sultanas along with currants from South Africa and juicy cherries and peel from Spain which all makes for a very nice cut and come again Teabrack, along with a variation on a classic Victorian Sandwich flavoured with orange or some mount watering Macaroons.

So it is time to getbaking!

Hot Teabrack

1lb/448g Luxury Fruit Mix,

including peel & cherries

12fl oz/360ml Hot Tea, Earl Gray

or Herbal can also be used

1 beaten Egg

8oz/224g Brown Sugar

8oz/224g Self Raising Flour, sieved

1tsp Mixed Spice

Pinch Salt

Place the sugar, spice and fruit in a bowl and cover with the hot tea, allow to cool then add in the beaten egg and sieved flour and give a good stir. Pour into a loaf tin about 4” x 9” (2lb tin) lined with baking parchment, place in a preheated oven 160º and bake for about 1½ hours until cooked.

When you press the top of the brack with your finger it shouldspring back up, allow to cool. Serve it sliced well buttered, this brack has no butter in it, sometimes I rub 2oz/56g of butter into the flour, it makes a slightly more crumbly cake. This brack cooks to a dark colour, if you wish after 1 hour you could cover it with brown paper.

Orange Victoria


8oz/224g Butter

8oz/224g Castor Sugar

8oz/224g Self Raising Flour

4 Free Range Eggs

2 level tsp Baking Powder

Zest of 1 large Orange

Grease 2 x 8”/20cm round sandwich tins, line the base with a disc of baking parchment.

Place all the above ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and turn on high speed for a minute then turn off and scrape down the mixture with a spatula, I do this about three times then I divide the mixture between the two greased tins.

I place them in a preheated oven at 160º for about 40 to 45 minutes until cooked (press the centre of the cake with your fingers it should spring back up).

Do not open the oven door before the 40 minutes or you run the risk of sinking the cake.

When cooked remove the cake from the oven and transfer them out on to a cooling rack, allow them to get cold while you make a nice orange filling and icing for the top of the cake.


4oz/112g Butter

8oz/224g Icing Sugar

Zest of 1 Orange

1tbsp Fresh Orange Juice

Cream the butter and add in the

sugar and orange zest along with

some orange juice to make a nice

creamy filling.

Icing for the top of the cake

8oz/224g Icing Sugar

Fresh Orange Juice

Place the sugar in a bowl and wet with some fresh orange juice to make a nice soft pouring icing.

When the cakes are cold cut each cake in half, spread with some filling then sandwich all together, you now have a cake with three layers of filling. Place the cake on a plate or board and pour the orange icing all over the top allowing it to run a little down the side.

Serve on a nice cake plate or stand. There is good cutting in this cake and well worth all the work (it makes for a nice birthday cake, just write the name on it in chocolate and place a candle on top).

Chocolate Macaroons

4oz/112g Ground Almonds

3 Egg Whites

2oz/56g Castor Sugar

3tbsp Cocoa Powder

6oz/168g Icing Sugar

Place the icing sugar, cocoa and

ground almonds in a bowl and give

a good stir up until everything is

well blended together. Place the

egg white in a mixing bowl and

whisk on high speed until stiff then

fold in the castor sugar. Add the

ground almond mixture and stir

lightly, the egg white mixture will

collapse slightly but should be thick

enough to leave the mark of the

spoon. Take a large baking tray and

lay a sheet of baking parchment on

it, fill a piping bag with the mixture

and pipe 20 macaroons on to the

tray, leave a nice bit of space

between them. Place in a preheated

oven 160º for about 15 minutes,

remove from the oven, and allow to

cool then remove from the baking

tray. You can serve them as they are

or sandwich with chocolate

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