Traditional Hallowe’en Barmbrack

Hallowe’en derives from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain which celebrated the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter. The traditional bread served on the night was Barmbrack, meaning speckled cake.

Traditionally, the Barmbrack had hidden a ring, a pea, a stick, a piece of cloth and a small coin. Finding the ring meant you would marry that year while finding the pea was the opposite and meant you wouldn’t marry that year, the stick foretold an unhappy marriage or a year of disputes, the cloth heralded bad luck or poverty but the coin happily predicted good fortune or riches. Bit of a mixed bag – there must have been some apprehension when cutting the brack!