Do I have any coffee lovers out there? I’m sure I do, so ya’ll are just gonna love this recipe – Malted Coffee, Chocolate & Pecan Brack! This delicious quick bread has a toasted malted flavor and is brimful with rich, coffee soaked fruit, nuts and with a bit of both dark chocolate thrown in for good measure.
This is my first time baking a coffee brack. I’ve done quite a few tea bracks in my day and I did couple of lovely Barmbracks, both yeasted and quick, a few years ago,
but never a coffee brack. In case you did not know, the word brack comes from the Irish word breac which means speckled or freckled. Bracks, which are kind of like a cross between bread and cake, are always shot through with fruit which gives it that speckled appearance. Most of the sweetness in the loaf comes from the fruit. Tea bracks are made with…well – tea if you didn’t guess. This one is made with…Coffee. I couldn’t wait to try it and was delighted with the results. The coffee flavor really shines through. So if you are a fan of coffee, you really must bake this quick and easy bread.
I found this recipe in a cookbook I got ahold of on my most recent trip to Ireland – Bake:Traditional Irish Baking with Modern Twists by Graham Herterich.
I love this cookbook! Visually it is gorgeous, but it doesn’t rely on looks alone. This book is chock full of fantastic recipes. Graham Herterich, better known in Ireland as the Cupcake Bloke, initially trained as a chef and then went on to open The Bakery in Rialto Dublin. In this, his first cookbook, he offers a traditional recipe followed by a modern twist on that recipe. This Malted Coffee, Chocolate & Pecan Brack is a delightful twist on the very traditional tea brack mentioned above.
I have been telling you all about my most recent trek to Ireland. Yesterday I told you all about our stay in the luxurious Cliff House Hotel and showed you a bit from our stroll along the cliffs. Today I wanted to show you a bit of charming village of Ardmore. Ardmore, from the Irish Aird Mhór meaning great height, is a gorgeous seaside resort and fishing village. It is home to 430 people but the population swells in the summer months. We visited in October, so the beach traffic was gone and the town had settled into its sleepy, off-season laid back vibe. Ardmore is the oldest Christian settlement in Ireland and was founded by St. Declan in the 5th C. Not to steal any glory from St. Paddy, seeings how his day is coming up very soon, but Declan was in Ardmore before St. Patrick arrived on the emerald isle.
But let me get back to that scrumptious Malted Coffee, Chocolate & Pecan Brack.
It was so easy to make, the hardest thing about it was remembering to soak that fruit in the coffee overnight. And do actually give it that soak. The fruit plumps up wonderfully and becomes infused with coffee goodness. In making this I ended up only dirtying one bowl. Less clean up is always better than more! The brack is so moist and rich and actually improves with age. So you can get it done well before your St. Patrick’s day festivities kick off. Have a slice (or two) slathered with butter along with your tea or coffee to start the day. That jolt of caffeine will give you all the energy you need to hit the parades!
Malted Coffee, Chocolate & Pecan Brack
recipe from: Bake: Traditional Irish Baking with Modern Twists by Graham Herterich.
- 300 grams sultanas (yellow raisins)
- 50 grams pitted dates, roughly chopped
- 25 grams pecans, chopped, plus extra for sprinkling on top
- 300 grams almost cold coffee
- 125 grams light brown sugar
- 25 grams dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 medium egg, beaten
- 1 Tablespoon barley malt extract (You can ind this in health food shops, but if you can’t get it – substitute in 1 Tablespoon malted milk powder dissolved in 2 teaspoons cold water)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 225 grams self rising flour
Place the sultanas, dates, pecans and coffee in a large bowl and leave to soak overnight at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 180 C (356F). Line a 900 gram (2 lb – I used a 9X5x3″) loaf tin with non stick baking powder, or you can butter and flour the pan. Your choice.
Add the brown sugar, chocolate, egg, barley malt extract and vanilla to the fruit/coffee mixture and mix well. Gently mix in the flour being careful not to crush the fruit. Transfer to the prepared baking tin. Sprinkle with additional pecans. (optional)
Bake in the preheated oven for 60 -65 minutes. It is done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Allow to cool fully in the tin before cutting into slices.
Serve with butter or a soft creamy cheese like ricotta or mascarpone.
Links for Helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Malted Coffee, Chocolate & Pecan Brack:
Travel Planning Guide:
Getting there: Icelandair! We love Icelandair and have always had great experience with them. Icelandair flies to Dublin, Ireland. Take advantage of their Stopover program on your next flight to Europe.
Car Rental: New Way Car Hire – Love the all-inclusive pricing on these cars as well as the Dublin Airport pickup!
Ardmore, County Waterford Ireland
Pubs and Restaurants:
The Urchin – Fun and funky beach inspired pub featuring a full bar and signature cocktails. Serving snacks, burgers and pizzas. We loved their Gubbeen pizza! Their chips were also perfectly crisp! In the summer months, Urchin Adventures offers all kinds of sea activities like kayaking and paddleboarding.
The Pantry at Cliff – serving tea, coffee, baked goods, sandwiches and artisan lite bites.
Criostal Na Rinne – Criostal Na Rinne is is a hand cut crystal studio workshop situated in Ireland’s Ancient East in the picturesque Irish-speaking area of An Rinn, the Waterford Gaeltacht. Eamonn Terry, a master craftsman glass cutter, established the business in1987, producing Irish crystal of breathtaking quality and beauty. We purchased a couple of pieces on our trip and are now totally obsessed with it, which is strange because we never really cared for crystal before. It was always a bit much for us, a bit old-fashioned with all of its thousands of cuts. But this crystal is different. Gorgeous in its simplicity, it is sleek and modern. Each collection named with an Irish word reflecting nature and the environment. You can tour the workshop, which we did and were lucky enough to have met Eamonn. He was absolutely charming and spent a lot of time chatting with us. We have ordered several more pieces since we arrived back in the States and shipping has been quick and easy. You may have noticed it (champagne glass and whiskey tumbler from the Tonn – Irish for “wave” Collection) in the pictures of the Irish Coffee Truffles that I posted yesterday. Highly recommended!