A few weeks ago I was invited to London by Smart Energy GB to learn about Smart Meters and Energy Saving recipes created by Ian Cumming – Great British Bake Off 2015 Runner Up! Smart Meters will be installed in every home by 2020. Smart meters are the new generation of gas and electricity meters. They send automatic meter readings to your energy supplier, meaning accurate bills and an end to meter readings and unpredictable estimates. The accompanying smart meter display will also show you exactly how much energy you’re using and what it’s costing you in pounds and pence. It’s scary to see just how much energy you use when cooking, and baking, especially cakes which require longer cooking times are one of the most energy hungry!

Emma from The Joy of Five, Me and the lovely Ian Cumming
Emma from The Joy of Five, Me and the lovely Ian Cumming

It’s possible to ‘bake’ a cake in a microwave, in a fraction of the time, and therefore a fraction of cost. Most microwave cakes I’ve tried are a bit ‘meh’, they have a vague cakey taste and texture, but that’s about it. Ian Cumming knows his cakes, and this recipe for Welsh Bara Brith Cakes produces delicious results every single time, and will use about 2 pence worth of energy!

Delicious Bara Birth cakes
Delicious Bara Birth cakes

So, how do you make 90 Second Welsh Bara Brith Cakes? It’s so easy..

Serves – 3
Prep / Cooking time – 10mins / 1.5mins




Ingredients
For the Cakes

40g mix of currants and sultanas
1 tea bag
60ml water
70g self-raising flour
70g light brown sugar
1 pinch of salt
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spices
3 tsp orange marmalade
1 egg
60ml vegetable or sunflower oil

To serve
Ready-made custard, double cream or ice cream

To serve

1. Place the currants and sultanas in a small bowl with the tea bag and 60ml of water. Microwave for 30-40 secs, then leave to cool for 5 mins while the fruit and tea add flavour to the water.

2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and mixed spices. Add the marmalade, the egg and the oil before tipping in the currants and sultanas, as well as all the remaining tea-infused liquid.

3. Beat the mixture with a fork until smooth.

4. Divide the mixture into three equal portions, in deep mugs of around 7-8cm in diameter. Cook each cake separately in the microwave, on high power for 90 secs.

5. Immediately run a knife around the edge of each mug, tip the cake into a bowl, and serve with custard, cream or ice cream.

It’s as easy as that!

Check out the video below to see just how simple it is to make these wonderful Welsh Bara Brith Cakes

Smart meters are paving the way for a smarter, greener and more energy-efficient Great Britain. They are a crucial step to the development of smarter energy grids, meaning energy suppliers will be better equipped to match the supply and demand of gas and electricity. In the future, we can also look forward to greater flexibility and choice, with cheaper optional tariffs at off-peak times. This means we will pay less to use or charge devices when electricity is not in high demand. It will also mean less pressure on the grid at busier times when we’re all rustling up our dinner, or flicking on the kettle whilst the adverts are on TV.

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