Saturday, 11 August 2012

Suzanne's Eccles Cakes

My friend, Suzanne, typed on Facebook, 'Mmmm- homemade Eccles cakes'.

Andy's eyes lit up, 'You've got to get that recipe!' he said. 

Never underestimate the power of the social networking website.  Within two hours of receiving Suzanne's recipe, I was baking my first ever batch of Eccles Cakes.



I am afraid I took a few liberties. Traditionally, you are supposed to cut out a circle of pastry, place a spoonful of filling in the centre and fold it into a neat little parcel, then roll it out....... oh good heavens!
  
I was never any good at origami! Let me give you the recipe and then I'll show you my method of constructing an Eccles cake.  



Suzanne gave me a recipe for Quick Flaky Pastry, but she said she sometimes uses ready made Puff Pastry for her cakes.  She is a brilliant cook, so if she says store bought Puff is OK, then that's good enough for me.  So that's the pastry sorted.  Now for the filling:

3 ounces (75 g) butter
5 ounces (150 g) soft brown sugar
5 ounces (150 g) currants
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
the grated rind of 1 large orange
2 ounces (50 g) finely chopped mixed peel (optional for no peel people like us) 


Melt the butter in a small sauce pan, then stir in the rest of the ingredients.  Let the filling cool completely.  I popped my filling into the fridge for about 30 minutes.  




I used ready rolled puff pastry so all I had to do was cut out pastry circles with a large scone cutter.  You will need two circles of pastry for each Eccles cake.  Place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the centre of one pastry circle.  Brush a little water or milk around the edge of the pastry and top with a second pastry circle.  



Press the edges of the pastry together to seal in the filling.  Using a fork, crimp the edges of each cake to make sure none of the currants can escape. Right now your Eccles cakes are probably quite fat with all that filling.  Very gently, press them down until they are flat and about 1/4 inch thick.   Place the Eccles cakes on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  Cut three gashes into each cake, brush with milk and sprinkle over a little white sugar.  



Bake the cakes in an oven pre-heated to 425 degrees F or 220 degrees C for about 15 minutes.  When the pastry is golden and crispy and the kitchen is full of the scent of cinnamon and nutmeg, your Eccles cakes are ready to come out of the oven.  Cool them on a wire rack or eat them warm, we couldn't wait!

Suzanne was right.... Mmmm- homemade Eccles Cakes!

Thank you, Suzanne for the inspiration and the recipe.  It was a BIG hit at our house.  

6 comments:

  1. Well you've beaten me too it - I've never made Eccles cakes either, but I think I might now. Yours look totally scrumptious. I have some home made mincemeat left over from Christmas and some puff pastry in the freezer - so nothing to stop me!

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    1. I think you should give them a go. My hubby had eaten six of them before I finished making the whole batch and I love anything in Puff Pastry! I think we can consider them a success!

      Home made mincemeat is something I've yet to try. You may be called upon for assistance come Christmas. : )

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  2. Debs, Your photography is *mouthwatering* !

    Yours is the first blog post/recipe that actually has me believing that I CAN do this. So I think I will.

    Like you, I will lose the mixed peel (yuck) - and might experiment with soaking the currants in black tea. Think that would mess it up?

    My husband LOVES Eccles Cakes. I do too, but not those huge, chewy things you usually get.

    Thank you!

    Denise

    P.S. My new blog has launched! http://www.TeaInEngland.com

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    1. You really must give this Eccles Cakes recipe a try, Denise. It's so easy when you use the ready rolled pastry. I usually soak all of my dried fruit before using it in baking so I think the black tea idea would be wonderful.

      I had a look at your new blog. It's gorgeous and I am always on the look out for great places to have tea and cake. I will be making a list based on your blog.

      Now, make like Martha Stewart and bake those cakes! ; )

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  3. I think the 'hmmm' baton has just been passed - I need to make these!

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    1. Yes, please do! This is such an easy recipe and tasty, too. : )

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