I was in Aldi a couple of weeks ago and there was a bread maker on offer. I had toyed with the idea of getting one before but I wasn’t sure if I would actually use it or if it would end up hibernating in a kitchen cupboard. It was reduced from €40 to €19.99 so I decided to give it a try.
Since then I have turned into a budget version of Mary Berry. I’ve found myself getting up a bit earlier to put a bread mix in so I have a fresh loaf of bread ready by the time I’m back from walking the dogs. Barking! Me not the dogs, well them as well.
Anyway I’m rambling. So far I’ve made white, wholemeal and cheese loaves, which all got eaten. The bread maker is very easy to use, it does sound a bit sick on the kneading programme though.
I decided it must be capable of making cakes too so I tried out a tea brack recipe:
200g (7oz) sultanas
150g (5oz) chopped dates
300 ml (10fl oz) Barry’s Tea
1 medium egg
200g (7oz) caster sugar (or light brown sugar)
275g (9oz) self-raising flour.
Place the fruit, sugar and tea into a bowl and leave to stand. I didn’t have much time so I only left mine for about 20 minutes.
Remove the kneading blade from the bread pan and grease and line the bottom and sides of the pan with greaseproof paper.
Add the egg into the fruit mixture and stir well. Fold in the flour until it’s mixed well. Place the mixture into the pan and smooth the top. Set the machine to bake only for 1hr 30 approx. Check it after 1.15 (insert a skewer into the middle and if it comes out clean the brack is cooked). I left my brack in the machine for about 10 minutes after it had finished baking as it still continues cooking.
Place the brack on a wire rack for it to cool down….I couldn’t leave mine because I wanted to eat it! I prefer it warm with Connacht Gold Butter. It’s nice enough cold as well.
This was so easy to make and I’m wondering now if I should try and make a Christmas cake in the bread machine. Has anyone tried it? If so let me know how you got on.