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This recipe is classed as intermediate

Rating 3.19 / 5 (21 votes)

Prep time:
25 min
Cook time:
10 min

If you can’t get your hands on barmbrack, try Paul Rankin’s recipe with brioche instead - for a really showy dessert, decorate with spun sugar


1. For the brambrack: slice the loaf into 12 2cm-thick slices. Cut off the crusts and slice into neat rectangles or leave them on for a more rustic look. Spread one side of each piece of bread with butter and evenly sprinkle on some of the icing sugar, using up half of the butter and sugar. Set aside.

2. For the toffee apples: peel, core and halve the apples and cut each half into six wedges. Roll the wedges in lemon juice to avoid the apples going brown.

3. Heat a large, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat and add the butter. After it has begun to foam, tip in the caster sugar and stir until it turns a caramel colour. Preheat the grill to high.

4. Add the apple wedges to the pan and cook over a medium high heat until the wedges are golden-brown and can be pierced easily with a fork - this will take about 5 minutes.

5. Place the buttered and sugared slices of barmbrack on a baking sheet, buttered side up, place under the preheated grill and watch closely - you want an even golden-brown toasting. Carefully remove the tray from the grill, turn the slices over, spread with the remaining butter and sprinkle with sugar in the same manner as before and return the bread to the grill to toast.

6. For the vanilla cream: in a mixing bowl, whip the cream until it holds fairly firm peaks when the whisk is removed from the bowl. Fold in the caster sugar and vanilla essence.

7. To serve, place two glazed slices of barmbrack in the centre of each of six plates and carefully arrange the toffee apples on top. Add a dollop of the vanilla cream, and serve at once.

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