Sweet – a Sugar-Free Christmas (part 2)

It happens that one of my favourite family traditions at Christmas time is a breakfast of Brudher (pronounced brooder). It comes from the Sri Lankan side of my family and consists of a type of butter cake eaten warmed with butter and cheese – preferably Bega vintage, which brings in the other side of my family…oh yes, I’m a good old Heinz variety dark horse. Now, the beauty of this recipe is that it transitions almost seamlessly to my sugar-free way of life….Butter and cheese are definitely on the YAY list, so technically if we swap out the 200grams of sugar for rice malt syrup, and the handful of sultanas for a handful of fresh blueberries, it should be ALL GOOD.

Brudher, I’ve noticed, differs from family to family. Charmaine Soloman published a recipe for it in her lovely book “Love and a wooden spoon” a book that I highly recommend for people who enjoy reading a cookbook with a glass of wine/cup of tea in a quiet moment. Her version of Brudher is a yeast cake. Her recipe is also a lot more arduous, so I think mine – written as my treacherous grandmother dictated, may she rest in peace, shows well the family trait I share so profoundly with her…shortcuts, baby, shortcuts! Whatevs, it’s a lovely cake/bread that I look forward to at Christmas and Easter, and only eaten then to keep it spesh! Here it is for you non-Jobsz folk written as it is in my handwritten recipe book, complete with sugar-free alternatives. You’re welcome.


500 g SR flour
2 level tsps cream of tartar
1 level tsp bicarbonate soda
Pinch salt
125g butter
200g rice malt syrup (sugar)
2 eggs
2 cups of milk
Blueberries or cranberries (sultanas or raisins) 1 or 2 handfuls


Beat eggs well, then add sugar and beat again. Put in milk.

In another bowl mix flour, cream of tartar, bicarbonate and butter. Mix well with fingers (like for scones) until crumbly. Salt and berries (sultanas) can be added now. Then add liquid, mix and mix again well with hands.

Grease a fluted ring tin or two loaf tins and pour 3/4 way up tin, leaving room to rise and bake at 180 degrees for about an hour….50 mins approx for loaf tins, 40 mins for Kugelhopf tin.

So, this is a breakfast bread/cake, and I will eat it from Christmas morning until it’s gone…2 or 3 days later. OK, who am I kidding? It’s all gone by Boxing Day night. Weirdly, if you make it in the mixer, it doesn’t turn out as nice.




Edit: Owing to having made and eaten this Brudher in a scandalously short time, I made a second one and used Natvia for experimental purposes, I used 3/4 of the weight of the sugar (150g) in Natvia, and it also worked well – in fact I was pleasantly surprised as I haven’t really enjoyed baking with the stevia blends so far! Food for thought 🙂

5 thoughts on “Sweet – a Sugar-Free Christmas (part 2)

    • Well…yes…I did have to eat it because I’m totally anti – food wasting, but I did not enjoy it at all on purpose! Accidentally, I loved every mouthful 🙂 !

  1. Love it – gonna give it a go as a post Christmas breakfast. The heathens In This place want the same thing every year – my spicy savoury muffins and fruit platter, washed down with mother hand squeezed orange juice… Love the idea of cheese and cake – 2 of my favourite things…can you have it for dinner and then include the third in the holy trilogy – red wine?????

  2. Pingback: Year in Review « Laugh in the Sun

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s