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Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Halloween & My Barmbrack Recipe

Halloween, celebrated on October 31st, is one of those true Celtic traditions that has become a world-wide celebrated occasion. Historically, it is based on the Celtic festival of Samhain which is derived from Old Irish and means roughly "summer's end".

With the plantation of Ulster in the early 1600's, the Scottish colonists brought with them the festival of All Hallow's Evening (All Hallows Even') celebrated on the same night and the two traditions merged. This was the night that the souls of the dead were thought to walk the earth and many people believed it a setting for supernatural encounters! I remember how Holy Water was sprinkled on the outhouses, sheds and farm animals  to keep them safe during the night and mirrors in our house were covered with sheets so that the poor souls could not enter the living world.

The traditional bread served on the night was the Halloween Barmbrack, meaning speckled cake, which is a sweet fruit bread. The word Barm comes from an old English word, "beorma", meaning yeasty fermented liquor and Brack comes from the Irish word "breac", meaning speckled - which it is with the dried fruit and candied peel.

The bracks made with yeast are called "barmbracks" and those that use baking powder and fruit soaked in tea are called "tea bracks".

Each member of your family must get a slice and it was always a great treat, to find the penny in the cake as this meant you were going to be rich. Other items buried in the barmbrack are: a ring for the bride-to-be, a thimble for the one who would never marry and a small piece of cloth indicating the one who would be poor. This is the recipe I have used for many years and it makes one loaf.

My Ingredients:
450g (3½ Cups) plain flour 
1/2 tspn ground cinnamon
1/2 tspn ground nutmeg
7g (1 sachet) (2 teaspoons) dried yeast 
75g butter (4 tablespoons)
75g (1/3 Cup) castor sugar 
250ml (1 Cup) milk 
1 beaten egg
150g (1 Cup) raisins 
100g (3/4 Cup) currants 
50g (1/4 Cup) chopped Dried Fruit Peel 
A little melted butter for greasing

My Method:
1. Warm the milk, add the butter and let it melt in the warm milk.
2. Mix the yeast with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Add half the warmed milk mixture. Add the beaten egg.
3. Sift the cinnamon with the flour into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour the yeast and liquid mixture into it. Sprinkle a little flour over the liquid and leave it in a warm place for 1/2 hour until yeast froths up.
4. Add in the remainder of the liquid and mix the whole lot into a dough. Turn it out onto a floured board and knead the sugar, raisins, currants and chopped peel into the dough.
5. Put the dough into a butter-greased large bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place until doubled in size.
6. Knead it back again and then shape into your greased bread tin. Brush the top with melted butter and cover until doubled in bulk again.
7. Bake for 40 minutes in a pre-heated hot oven at 200°C until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
8. To give it a nice glaze stir 1 tbls sugar into 50ml boiling water and brush this over the top of the loaf when it comes out of the oven and is still hot.

Don't forget to Feed the Fish at the end of this Post!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Full Participating Restaurants Listing for Dine in Dublin 2011

From Monday 24th to Sunday 30th October, 
Dublin City Business Improvement District (BID) in association with the Restaurant Association of Ireland (RAI) present Dine in Dublin - Restaurant Week.

This is a seven-day event which encourages food-lovers to sample some of the city’s wide range of cuisine at a fraction of the normal price. 

Chefs from participating restaurants at the Launch of Dine in Dublin 2011

Now in its sixth year, Dine in Dublin will see over 40 of Dublin’s restaurants opening their doors with set menu prices starting from as little as €15 per-person for a full three-course meal. 

A new offering to this year's Dine in Dublin is a wider price selection, with participating restaurants charging either €15, €20, €25 or €30, which includes tea or coffee. 

The List contains a wide & varied choice of food styles from around the capital and does offer some excellent value for  customers.

So, here is The List of all the Participating Restaurants in Dine in Dublin 2011:

Dine in Dublin for €30 Restaurants

101 Talbot Street
100 - 102 Talbot Street, Dublin 1
T: 01 874 5011

Bang Restaurant
11 Merrion Row, Dublin 2
T: 01 400 4229

Bedlam Restaurant
4-5 Castle Market, Dublin 2
T: 01 677 6001

 46/47 Highfield Road, Rathgar, Dublin 6
T: 01 496 1518

Bleu Bistro
Joshua House, 19b Dawson Street, Dublin 2
T: 01 676 7015

Brasserie Sixty 6
66 South Great George's Street, Dublin 2
T: 01 670 9852

9 Fairview Strand, Fairview, Dublin 3
T: 01 833 3681

1 L:ower Fownes Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
T: 01 671 0362

Chatham Brasserie
 31 - 32 Chatham Street, Dublin 2
T: 01 679 0055

Darwins Restaurant
80 Aungier Street, Dublin 2
T: 01 475 7511

Fallon & Byrne
17 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2

T: 01 472 1000

Fire Restaurant
Mansion House, Dawson Street, Dublin 2
T: 01 676 7200

Gallagher's Boxty House
 20-21 Temple Bar, Dublin 2

T: 01 677 9723

IL Segreto Restaurant
13 Merrion Row, Dublin 2
T: 01 661 8700

The Church
Junction of Mary Street & Jervis Street, Dublin 1
T: 01 828 0102

The Farm
3 Dawson St, Dublin 2
T: 01 671 8654

The Green Hen
33 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2
T: 01 670 7238

The Washerwoman's Hill Restaurant
60 Glasnevin Hill, Glasnevin, Dublin 9
T: 837 9199

Wilde - The Restaurant
The Westbury Hotel, Balfe St, Dublin 2.
T: 01 646 3311

Dine in Dublin for €25 Restaurants

South William Street, Dublin 2
T: 01 671 8767

Boulevard Cafe
27 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2
T: 01 679 2131

Verres en Vers
Radisson Blu hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 8
T: 01 898 2935

Brasserie Le Pont
25 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2
T: 01 669 4600

Cafe 31
Old Bray Road, Cabinteely, Dublin 18
T: 01 202 4767

Café Novo
The Westbury Hotel, Balfe Street, Dublin 2
T: 01 646 3348

Chili Club
2 Anne's Lane, Dublin 2
T: 01 677 3721

Citron Restaurant
The Fitzwilliam Hotel, St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2
T: 01 418 5525

Dada Restaurant
45 South William Street, Dublin 2
T: 01 671 0777

Essence Bistro
75 Main Street, Swords, Co.Dublin
T: 01 895 6811

Francesca's at Brooks Hotel
Brooks Hotel, 59 - 60 Drury Street, Dublin 2
T: 01 670 4000

Gotham Café
8 South Anne's Street, Dublin 2
T: 01 679 5266

Il Vignardo
Isaac's Hotel, Store Street, Dublin 1
T: 01 855 3099

7 Jervis Street, Millenium Walkway, Dublni 1
T: 01 814 6777

L' Gueuleton
1 Fade Street, Dublin 2
T: 01 675 3708

La Cave
28 South Anne Street, Dublin 2
T: 01 679 4409

26 - 28 Clarendon Street, Dublin 2
T: 01 679 2000

The Dining Room by Conrad Gallagher
35 Dawson Street, Dublin 2
T: 01 612 7911

The Exchange
Westin Hotel, Westmoreland Street, Dublin 2
T: 01 645 1318

The Unicorn
12b Merrion Court, Merrion Row, Dublin 2
T: 01 676 2182

Uisce Restaurant

Hilton Dublin, Charlemont Street, Dublin 2

Dine in Dublin for €20 Restaurants

2 South Great George's Street, Dublin 2
T: 01 677 1085

Café en Seine
Dawson Street, Dublin 2
T: 01 677 4567

52 Dawson Street, Dublin 2
T: 01 633 3957

Hop House - Kimchi Restaurant
160 Parnell St, Dublin 1
T: 01 872 8318

3 South Anne Street, Dublin 2
T: 01 677 4205

Mexico to Rome
23 East Essex Street, Templebar, Dublin 2
T: 01 677 2727

St Andrew Street, Dublin 2
T: 01 677 4799
38 - 40 Parliament Street, Dublin 2
T: 01 671 9308

T.P. Smith's
9/10 Jervis Street, Dublin 1
T: 01 872 4031

The Czech Inn
Essex Gate, Temple Bar,  Dublin 8
T: 01 671 1535

The Lombard
1 Lombard Street/44 Pearse Street, Dublin 2
T: 01 671 8033

The Pink Supper Club
35/36 Dawson Street, Dublin 2
T: 01 612 7999

Dine in Dublin for €15 Restaurants

Kealy's of Cloghran
Old Airport Road, Cloghran, Co. Dublin.
T: 01840 1138

For further details see:

Don't forget to Feed the Fish at the bottom of this Post!

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