Some say that this is a recipe to use up stale bread, which was originally devised when it was considered a sin to throw away bread because of the association with Christ. However, I think the recipe was carried on through difficult economic times when it was easy to obtain stale bread, nothing was wasted and the bread was used to make a cheap and delicious treat for the family. Earlier this year when my husband visited Nan and returned with the usual parcel wrapped in foil it also included a typed out copy of the recipe. Here is Nan's stale bread cake recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as our family does.
Nan's Stale Break Cake
(Note from Nan: "I have used this recipe for over 40 years, I don't measure anything")
1. A couple of loaves of stale bread, (soak till moist) about 5 minutes.
2. Squeeze out as much water as you can.
3. Add mixed fruit (generally add about 1 kilo).
4. Add 250 gm of margarine (I melt it in the microwave)
5. Add two cups of sugar. (taste it to see if it is sweet enough).
6. Mixed spice (a real good shake).
Mix well (If you find it too moist use some flour, (consistency of a fruit cake)
Grease a baking dish well, cook in a moderate to hot oven until baked.
(At the bottom Nan wrote me a little message: It's easy, I added some rum to the one Steve gave you a tast of. I get my stale bread from the bakery they only charge a $1. I also used tea cake and sultana bread, ask your baker for stale bread etc. any bread will do, except MULTIGRAIN! It's an easy recipe, good luck' it's lovely hot with custard). Thanks Nan!!!
Footnote: Nan passed away a couple of months ago after a prolonged illness, so it is nice to be able to share this recipe in her memory.