Dried fruit has seemed to take over my cakes recently as you'd see from my latest posts, for someone not keen on fruited cakes I seem to be eating a lot of them. I came across this recipe for Eccles cakes in Delia Smith's Book of cakes, if I'm honest the only reason I baked them was, bear with me, because I don't like Eccles cakes, so therefore I wouldn't eat any of them (the bikini holiday is nearing closer and closer), so my logic was, bake something you don't like and then I wont eat them, genius :)
Oh how wrong I was, these little cakes, easy and enjoyable to bake, are totally delicious and moreish, I ate one, the one cut in half in the picture (the steamy and blurry picture :)....and loved it, them ate two more. I had to physically be removed from the tin.
This is Delia's Mum's recipe for her delicious Eccles cakes.
Quick flaky pastry:
225g plain flour
a good pinch of salt
For the filling:
150g soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
the grated rind of 1 large orange
50g finely chopped mixed peel
To finish off:
To make the pastry, weigh the margarine (hard from the refrigerator) then wrap it in a piece of foil and place it in freezer for half an hour.
Meanwhile sift the flour and salt into a bowl, then when you take the margarine out of the freezer, hold it with the foil, dip it into the flour, then grate it on a coarse grater placed in a bowl over the flour. Carry on dipping the margarine into the flour to make it easier to grate. When you have finished you will have a lump of grated margarine sitting in the middle of the flour.
Then take a palette knife and start to cut the fat into the flour (don't use your hands) until the mixture is crumbly.
Now add enough water so that it forms a dough that leaves the bowl clean (you can use your hands for the dough), then place it in a polythene bag and chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.
Meanwhile prepare the filling by first melting the butter in a small saucepan. Then take it off the heat and stir in all the filling ingrediants, stir thoroughly and leave to cool.
Next turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll it out to 3mm thick, then , using a plain 8cm cutter, cut the pastry into rounds.
Put a teaspoon of the filling on to each round, then brush the edge of half the circle of pastry with water, bring the other side up and seal it. Bring the corners up to the centre and pinch to seal well.
Turn the sealed pastry parcel over, so that the seam is underneath, then gently roll the whole thing to flatten it to about 1/2 cm thick and pat into a round shape.
Place them all on a greased baking sheet and gash each cake diagonally across three times.
Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with caster sugar.
Bake them in the oven (gas mark 7/220c) for 15 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack.
These little parcels of deliciousness, are kind of the wrong shape, when I flattened them I should have rounded them off I didnt, not that that affects the taste in any way.
The pastry is light and flaky, I will use this pastry method again, but overall as much as I love these cakes I am a little dispaointed...I didnt want to like them. I don't need bikini stress.