“Listen Zara, I don’t care what you say, I am not a bloody large” I panted angrily as I struggled to pull what can only be described as a worm coloured dress over my head. I don’t even like the colour ‘worm’ only Kim Kardashian can pull off ‘worm’ everyone knows that. Anyway, in an attempt to dodge the humongous queue I opted to try the dress on over my clothes on the shop floor, big mistake. So here I was, in the middle of Zara’s heaving Covent Garden store trapped inside the offending worm dress.
‘This can’t possibly be a large” I spat as my face turned an alarming shade of puce. I ducked down behind a rail of jackets and gave it another tug but just couldn’t get the damn thing over my boobs.
“Excuse me, can I get to the mirror?” I wildly spun around on my knees and looked up at Gigi Hadid. Okay so it wasn’t actually Gigi Hadid but it might as well have been, the skinny blonde thing had already pushed pass me and was now holding a top up to her delicate little chest admiring herself. At least she doesn’t have any boobs I thought to myself and grinned but then realised it was my ample bosoms that had got me into this mess in the first place. I gave the dress one final big pull and whipped it off over my head.
“YEEEESS!” I roared (a little too loudly) in the mirror at Gigi Hadid but Gigi had gone, in her place was a scary old Italian lady who stared back at me with disgust. Whatever.
I hung the now disheveled dress on a hanger and glanced at the capital ‘L’ on the label, since when was being a size 12 a large? Fuck you Zara and fuck your ugly worm dress I thought as I swept out of the shop.
When I got home I was still rather cross so decided to take my frustration out on a cake. Angrily beating eggs and creaming butter together can be very therapeutic after an upsetting shopping trip.
I decided to make Bara Brith, a kind of Welsh fruit loaf infused with tea. Traditionally you soak the dried fruit in the tea over night but I’m too greedy and too impatient for this so I created a quick version. Six hours and three Bara Brith’s later (one burnt, one sunk, one too dry) I finally got the recipe right. Serve with lashings of butter and a cup of tea, mwynhau!
Makes one loaf / Takes 1 hour 20 minutes
300ml boiling water
2 Black tea bags
2 Tbs orange juice
1 Tbs honey
2 medium eggs
140g soft Brown sugar
1 Tsp mixed spice
260g self raising flour
Pinch of salt
Piece of tin foil
900g loaf tin
1. Preheat your oven to 170°C (150°C fan).
2 Put the sultanas into a large saucepan with 300ml of boiling water and 2 black teabags. Give it a good stir to allow the tea to infuse and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
3. Meanwhile measure out your butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. After two minutes take 2 teaspoons of the tea liquid and drop it into the mixing bowl. Drain the sultanas and then add them to the butter and sugar.
4. Stir until the butter has melted. Add the orange juice and honey and mix well. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl with a fork and then add them to the fruit mixture. Give it another stir until everything is combined.
5. Measure out and mix together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and bit by bit start incorporating it into the fruit mix. Once combined, pour into a greased loaf tin. (To grease my tin I just use a bit of scrunched up cling film and a small knob of butter.)
6. Cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes your cake should have risen and turned a golden brown. Leaving the cake in the oven carefully and quickly cover the cake loosely with a piece of tin foil. (You don’t have to be very perfect about this, literally just drape the foil over the cake and secure it by crunching the sides of the foil. This will prevent the top of the cake going too brown. Be quick though, you don’t want to change the temperature of the oven by having the oven door open too long). Cook for a further 20- 25 minutes.
7. Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool for about 5 minutes. Turn out of the tin and leave to cool for a further 10 minutes on a cooling rack. Eat warm with butter or if you prefer the cake cold it’s a good idea to wrap it up in cling film at this stage still warm. This will stop the cake drying out and keep it nice and moist.
If you’ve had a go at making my Bara Brith or any of my recipes I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale firstname.lastname@example.org