Alternative Bread Company Luxury Breac, 640g, €3.89
This handsome-looking, glossy brack has plenty of fruit, mixed peel and cherries. It’s handmade at Neville’s Bakery in Dublin, but the very long list of ingredients includes palm oil, as is the case with all the other bracks tested. 302 calories per 100g.
Dunnes Stores Bakery Fruit Brack, 630g, €2.99
For a straightforward brack – a glazed yeasted fruit bread with fruit, peel and spices – at a reasonable price, this is a good option as it has a fair amount of fruit content and isn’t too heavily spiced. The glossy top is attractive and the bake isn’t too heavy. 288 calories per 100g.
Rankin Selection Irish Barmbrack, 470g, €3.49,
The only brack tested that doesn’t include a novelty ring, this has a heavy bake and pleasant, mildly-spiced flavour, but rather less fruit than our testers would have liked and a very pale colour. It also looks rather small in comparison to the others tested. Made by Irwin’s Bakery in Portadown. 295 calories per 100g.
Stafford’s Halloween Brack, 480g, €2.29
This brack from Stafford’s Bakery in Gorey doesn’t have the glossy finish our testers would expect in a brack and, consequently, does not look attractive in comparison with the other bracks. That said, the flavour and fruit content are grand, and the price is low. 295 calories per 100g.