Have I mentioned how huge of a holiday St. Patrick’s Day is in Newfoundland? Growing up, we always had the day off school, and it was a paid holiday once we got out in the working world. I myself grew up on the Avalon peninsula, where the Irish-Newfoundland culture is strong, you can hear it in the music and in our language, particularly in the smaller towns and in the “Irish Loop”. If you’re interested in some history, you can read a bit more on it here.
Irish influences and similarities are also found in our foods, I think. Our Jiggs Dinner similar to corned beef and cabbage, “hash” similar to colcannon, and tea buns and figgy duff must have roots in Irish (and British) cuisine. One of these days I will get around to making my mother’s raisin-studded tea buns, a recipe I’m hesitant to make, because I’m certain they will pale in comparison to hers. Annnnd, now I want a tea bun!
I have been making Barm Brack for years, and posted my recipe last year. I love the original tea loaf, but it has also inspired a cheesecake, and now, these little sweet treats.
- 1/2 cup strong tea
- 1/3 cup golden raisins
- 1/3 cup dried currants
- 1/3 cup mixed peel (I used a mix of orange and lime)
- 9 ounces white chocolate
- 5 tbsp butter
- 1 package of vanilla instant pudding
- 3 cups icing sugar
Start by mixing the first four ingredients and leaving to soak overnight. When ready to prepare the fudge, line a square pan with foil and set aside. In a microwave safe bowl, melt white chocolate and butter in one minute intervals until creamy and incorporated. Drain liquid from the soaked fruit. Use 1/3 cup of this liquid (if there is not enough, add some warm water) and stir this into the white chocolate mixture. Stir in vanilla pudding and then icing sugar, one cup at a time. When everything is mixed, stir in soaked fruit until distributed, then pour into prepared pan. Allow to set up in fridge overnight before removing from pan and cutting into squares.
Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.