Monday, 20 October 2008

Eccles cakes

As soon as I was old enough to leave the house on my own it became my job to buy the bread for the weekend. Every Saturday I would take the trip to Gordon's bakery to buy one of their fantastic loaves, still warm from the oven. As well as their delicious bread Gordon's also sold cakes. If I was lucky I would be allowed a cake as a treat, my favourite was, and still is the Eccles cake.

They may not be as glamorous as Danish pastries or French croissants but when it comes to flavour Eccles cakes can compete with the best of them. A delicious combination of juicy currants and candied peel wrapped in flaky pastry, they have remained incredibly popular for over 200 years.

I tried making my own Eccles cakes last night and they were a big hit, I've already had demands for more! Here's the recipe I used, based on the recipe from the Be-Ro cookbook.

Recipe for Eccles cakes

250g (8oz) puff pastry
50g (2oz) unsalted butter
100g (4oz) currants
25g (1oz) brown sugar
25g (1oz) cut mixed peel

1 Heat oven to 230ºC, 450ºF, Gas Mark 8.
2 Melt butter in a small bowl in the microwave, add the fruit, sugar and peel. Mix together.
3 Turn mixture into a basin and allow to cool.
4 Roll out pastry 0.5 cm (¼ inch) thick, cut into large rounds with a plain cutter.
5 Place a spoonful of filling on each round, dampen the edges of pastry and draw them together to enclose filling.
6 Turn smooth side up and roll lightly to flatten.
7 Cut tops to show filling, brush with milk. Sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake for about 20 minutes.


Fearless Kitchen said...

Isn't it great when you can recreate a taste memory from your youth? I've never heard of Eccles cakes, but these look very tasty.

Antonia said...

Eccles cakes are one of the very best of British cakes, aren't they. I've been meaning to try my hand at making my own so I'm glad to hear yours were a success!

Katie said...

Eccles cakes are so easy but they are great. Yours look lovely. Some variations on a theme I have done in the past-

Christmas: Use mincemeat for the filling

Apple: Use bramley apple, brown sugar and cinnamon.

Hopie said...

Looks delicious! I can see why it was your favorite :-)

Jo said...

All I have got to say is ....'more, more, more!'. I am hoping there might be more when I get home from work. Samuel, if you are reading this today - take the hint - I want MORE!

Sophie said...

These sound delicious :)

Sylvie said...

I'm afraid there are just too many currants in Eccles Cakes for me to like them. But I have to say yours look fantastic.

Cooking and the City said...

Sam I've never had an Eccles Cake but they look & sound delicious! anything in puff pastry has to be good :-)

Andrea said...

I've never seen Eccles Cakes! But now I totally want them. Is there anything better than discovering a new pastry?! I think not. I love that these come straight out of your childhood. Childhood treats are always the best.

nicisme said...

These are beauties Sam! I've got the same ones from the Be-Ro book and I can vouch for them!

Foodycat said...

A good eccles cake is a joy forever - but I would have been more impressed if you'd done the full catastrophe lard flakey pastry! This is a great post and the pictures are magic.