Monday, March 23, 2015

Fruit Bonnag

Today we venture into the land of the Isle of Man which is off of the coast of England. With so many traditional foods similar to those of England, it took some time in order to discover something that would be unique for the area. Searching and taking time to pick through the various things on the internet, we discovered some interesting baked good recipes. Deciding on one was only the first part of the adventure in this European adventure. Are you prepared for this humorous journey in food? 

Fruit Bonnag
225g plain flour
a pinch of mixed spice 
a pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
110g butter
110g light soft brown sugar
225g sultanas (golden raisins)
225g currants
225g raisins
225g mixed peel
1/2 tbsp black treacle 
2-3 tbsp buttermilk, to mix 

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/gas 3. Sift the flour, a pinch of salt, mixed spice, nutmeg, and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl, rub in the butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, Stir in the sugar, fruit and peel. Add the treacle and mix to a fairly stiff dropping consistency with buttermilk or milk. 
  2. Turn mixture into a well-greased 1 lb loaf tin and bake for 2 1/2 hours in the center of oven - a skewer should come out clean after inserting into the cake. 

~ The Artist ~ 
Well this was perhaps the most amusing quest into European recipes that I've ever had.  Bonnag is a type of all purpose bread but it doesn't follow the standard format that I'm used to. That wasn't the issue I was having when looking through the ingredients and temperature when I was converting things. I had to replace the golden raisins and currents with dried cranberries due to the local grocery store was out of both at the time for some reason and also had to replace black treacle with molasses.The temperature ended up being 320°F which wouldn't have been bad save for the 2 1/2 hour time frame. I discovered that it only took 1 hour 25 minutes to cook completely through. Even with the minor changes, it came out rather well. With a nice crust but warm moist interior, the raisins and cranberries worked well with the molasses. It reminded me of a merging of a holiday molasses bread mixed with a fruit bread. Delicious with a little bit of butter and pairs nicely with a cup of black tea. 

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