Monday, 12 September 2011

We did it! Cycling across Wales and eating Man-Size Bara Brith

We did it!

We cycled the Lon Las Cymru for six and a half days. 400km. Through Wales from Holyhead to Cardiff. Across three mountain ranges.  Along a route graded 'Challenging' by Sustrans National Cycle Network. 

Yep, me, my Dad, our good family friend, D, 478 Mars Bars and 353 bars of Kendal Mint Cake.

Finishing last Friday night, we were really chuffed to reach our sponsorship goal raising money for three excellent charities with the very kind and generous support of friends, family and colleagues. 

It was brilliant. 

Properly brilliant.

Even when my, ahem, derriere became a little uncomfortable (by end of Day 1), the gale force winds leftover from Hurricane Irene repeatedly knocked us sideways (Day 3) and the mid-Wales mountains resulted in breathing difficulties and chest pains (Day 4).

Thank you for all your support via the blog and twitter. 

One of the many, many highlights? The food.

We must have eaten about twenty times our usual food intake (a definite perk, no?). The twitter feed has the Top 5 highlights. 

When I wasn't keeping Mars Confectionery in business for the remainder of the financial year, I was tucking into mounds of this stuff: Bara Brith. Proper Welsh cake for proper Welsh mountains.

This is my Mum's recipe, and basically a bigger version of the Minature Bara Briths I made a couple of months back. Mum ensured our panniers were packed with a good few slices.

Bara Brith (Man Size version)

1 cup of cold tea
120oz dried mixed fruit
6oz brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp mixed spice
120oz self raising flour

1. Soak the fruit and sugar in the cold tea overnight (if timing permits; the fruit and sugar should have soaked up the majority of the tea)
2. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 3/325 F/160 C. Line a 2lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper
3. Beat the egg and add the egg to the fruit mixture, using a wooden soon to mix throughly
4. Sift the flour and mixed spice and stir into the mixture with the wooden spoon
5. Scoop the mixture into the prepared loaf tin
6. Pop in the oven for one hour, and then turn the oven down to Gas Mark 2/300 F/150 C or until a skewer inserted into the loaf comes out clean

Baker's notes...
  • Bara Brith isn't just a one-trick-teacake. Oh no. Bara Brith ice cream is LUSH. Even royalty agree. Just add 100g of crumbled Bara Brith to your vanilla ice cream recipe and churn as usual in an ice cream machine
  • Other fabulous usage could include a Bara Brith version of bread and butter pudding. Simply replace the bread in your favourite recipe with thin, buttered slices of Bara Brith.
  • Please excuse the small photos- not of the greatest quality I know- all taken with my camera phone as due to 'weight issues' with the panniers (being rather stuffed with Mars Bars and Bara Brith), the camera was left behind. 


  1. Congratulations Kate, I'm in awe! Congratulations on raising those funds for charity, you have a kind heart. Wish your photos were bigger though, so I don't have to squint. I liked your miniature welsh cakes so the adult sized versions should be a hit with me too!

  2. Congratulations Kate, I am in awe of such a venture and a BIG well done! I am a lover of Bara Brith, so thanks for sharing your mum's recipe with us.......fancy a MARS BAR?!

  3. Well done and congratulations! I did my D of E gold expedition in the Black Mountains but I didn't eat any Bara Birth :( Especially now that my boyfriend is Welsh I think I have no excuse not to make it!

  4. Well done to you all, what a brilliant effort! And Mars bars and Kendal Cakes aside, Bara Brith looks the most excellent way to get you through your trip. Very impressed ;0)

  5. Oh well done you. I bet that was fantastic. The most I've managed at one stretch was two days cycling in France when I was 17. Bara Brith looks great and I'm sure helped along with the Mars and Kendal mint cake.

  6. Thank you for your kind comments- my ego is truly inflated with all the lovely, lovely compliments!

  7. I forgot to say congratulations last night! What a great achievement, looks like you had a fantastic time! Your definitely deserved all those cupcakes and chocolate last night! xx

  8. Well done!!! What an achievement. You deserve lots of cake! xx

  9. Congratulations - an absolutely amazing achievement for excellent causes!

    Definitely well deserved Bara Brith!


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