Dad's recipes

bulletRecipe for shortbread in metric units (imperial in brackets)
Adapted from an original recipe of Gladys Wilson of Ballyclare and strongly recommended by the late John Wilson.


bullet500g (16oz) butter.
bullet250g (8oz) caster (fine) sugar.
bullet650g (20oz) plain (cake) flour.
bullet100g (4oz) ground almonds.

Melt the butter in a mixing bowl (use a microwave on high for two minutes) and stir in sugar, flour and almonds.  Place in a baking tray/Swiss roll tin and roll out to fill with a floured rolling pin. Cut into required finger size and prick each square with a fork. Bake at 180C/375F for no more than 40/45 minutes.

Recut with a knife when warm.  Take out of tin when cool. Bon appetite.

bulletRecipe for Barmbrack (Birn Breac)
Barmbrack is described in Wikapaedia as "yeasted bread with added sultanas and raisins". Usually sold in flattened rounds, it is often served toasted with butter along with a cup of tea in the afternoon."  This recipe uses self rising flour instead of yeast and flour.  Personally I never toast it (nor add spices), but if stale (it never lasts long enough!) perhaps toasting is the way to go.
bullet400ml (3/4 pint) cold tea (a strong tea bag, such as Belfast's Namosa, or two ordinary bags brewed in hot water for ten minutes or longer)
bullet200g (7oz) soft brown sugar
bullet350g (12oz) dried fruit (e.g. sultanas)
bullet300g (10oz) self-raising flour (if you can't get this use general-purpose flour plus 9g of baking powder and 3g or less of salt)
bulletOne egg

Soak dried fruit with tea and sugar  in a mixing bowl, cover and leave overnight.  Heat oven to 175C (350F or gas Mark 4) and well grease a 20cm (8") round cake tin (or 1kg (2lb) loaf tin or even better a spring form tin).

Beat the egg and blend into flour.  Stir in the tea/fruit concoction to make a smooth mixture.  Turn into tin and bake for about 1 hour 30 minutes (if two 500g (1lb) tins then one hour) covered with a metal plate, if desired.  When cool turn out and serve sliced with lots of butter!



Recipe for cherry cake

Self raising flour 225g (8oz)


100g castor sugar (4oz)


Two tablespoons milk


Desiccated coconut 50g (2oz)


150g butter (6oz)


Three eggs


Glac cherries 200g (8oz)


Two teaspoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 180C (170C for fan/convection oven) (360/350F).  Cut cherries in half and toss in flour.  Cream the sugar and softened butter in a mixing bowl and add the beaten eggs one at a time together with a spoonful of the flour and mix after each.  Add the flour/cherries, coconut, milk and lemon juice and mix thoroughly.  Put in a greased tin (about 15cm or 7"), cover with a metal plate and bake for about 45 minutes.  Remove covering plate and continue for ten minutes.

Serve as soon as possible (preferably the same day) as cake will get stale quickly; otherwise freeze.  If stale, smother with cream!



Click here to return to the home page

Last updated Saturday, August 27, 2011