“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 / Hands on time 25 mins / Takes 1 hour 20 mins + cooling / V ❄
You’ll need: 21cm x 12cm loaf tin
300ml boiling water
2 black tea bags
2 tbs orange juice
1 tbs honey
2 medium eggs
140g soft brown sugar
125g unsalted butter
1 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ ground ginger
260g self raising flour
Pinch of salt
1. Preheat an oven to 160°C/140°C fan/325°F/gas mark 3 and grease a loaf tin with butter. In a large saucepan, add the sultanas, tea bags and 300ml of boiling water. Give it a stir to allow the tea to infuse and bring to the boil. Reduce and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
2. Meanwhile measure out the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and add 2 tbs of the tea liquid. Drain the sultanas, discard the rest of the liquid and add to the butter and sugar. Stir well until the butter has melted. Add the orange juice and the honey and mix well.
3. In a separate small bowl, beat the eggs with a fork before adding to the mixture. Stir until combined before putting to one side.
4. In a medium sized bowl, measure out the dry ingredients and mix together. Add to the wet mixture a bit at a time and stir until fully incorporated. Once combined, pour into the greased loaf tin.
5. Bake for 30 minutes before carefully and quickly, covering the cake loosely with tin foil in the oven by draping it over the cake and securing it by crunching the sides (do this quickly to avoid the temperature dropping in the oven and to prevent the cake from colouring too much – you want it to stay a nice golden colour). Bake for a further 25 minutes.
6. Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Leave to cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving warm with salty butter.
TIP: To keep the cake moist, while it’s still warm wrap in clingfilm and store in a cool dry place. Consume within 3 days.
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
❄– Suitable for home freezing once cooled. Wrap in a few layers of clingfilm and consume within 3 months.