Brambrack (or otherwise known as Barmbrack) cake is an Irish Halloween/Samhain cake. It traditionally contains objects baked into the cake which are said to forecast the fortune of the receiver.
The items and their significance are traditionally -
A coin - to forecast wealth
A gold ring - to forecast marriage within the year
A piece of cloth - rags to forecast poverty
A thimble - to forecast spinsterhood
A button - to forecast bachelorhood
A matchstick - marital strife.
I have adapted the recipe slightly to make individual buns rather than a large cake. It's a lot easier when it comes to cutting the cake!!! If you prefer a large cake the position of the tokens could be indicated by placing cherries on top perhaps.
2 1/2 cups dried fruit
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
hot brewed tea
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup marmalade
1/2 tsp groung nutmeg
1 tsp grated orange zest
Personally I was a little more generous in my choice of tokens - and don't forget this is only a forecast for the coming year! (avoid using anything plastic!)
I sterilized them in a saucepan of boiling, wrapped them each in small amount of greaseproof paper and placed one at the bottom of each bun case.
1. Soak the dried fruit in hot brewed tea for two hours, then drain and gently squeeze out surplus liquid
2. Mix together theflour, cinnamon, nutmeg and bicarb.
3. seperately beat together the egg, sugar, marmalade and zest. Gently fold in the flour mixture.
4. put a good spoon full into large (muffin) bun cases and bake in a preheated oven 160 degrees C for aprox 45 mins.
I think I might make a batch for my son's friends for when they knock on the door this year.