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Recipe

Best-ever traditional Eccles cakes

Forget the dry and overly sweet versions you may have had before, Nici Wickes' Eccles cake recipe creates delicate, crisp and buttery little cakes. Enjoy them with some crumbly cheese and black tea

By Nici Wickes
  • 25 mins cooking
  • 1 hr marinating
  • Makes 10
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Ingredients

Pastry
  • 120 gram high grade flour
  • punch of salt
  • 100 gram butter, chilled
  • 50 millilitre iced water
Filling
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1/2 cup other dried fruit – Nici used sultanas, figs and prunes
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoon brandy or rum or orange juice (optional)
  • 20 gram butter, chilled
  • 1 egg, plus milk for egg wash
  • 1-2 tbsp caster sugar
  • aged cheddar cheese, to serve

Method

  • 1
    Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • 2
    For the pastry, mix the flour and salt in a bowl, then grate in the chilled butter. Drizzle in the iced water and mix with a butter knife until it comes together as a scraggy mess, then use your hands to knead very lightly into a ball. Roll out on a floured surface into a rectangle three times as long as it is wide. Fold each end into the middle in thirds so you have a square-ish shape, turn 90 degrees and roll out again. Repeat again, leaving it folded. Chill for 30 minutes.
  • 3
    For the filling, mix the dried fruit with the sugar, spices and liquid. Leave for 30 minutes, then grate in the butter.
  • 4
    Preheat oven to 180°C fan bake.
  • 5
    Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured work surface to about 5mm thick, then cut into 9cm rounds. Put a teaspoon of filling in the centre of each and brush the edges with egg wash. Gather the edges together to encase the filling and press to seal. Flatten slightly by gently pressing. Transfer to a lined baking tray, smooth side up. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with caster sugar. Using a sharp knife, cut three slashes in the top of each. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and well-risen.
  • 6
    Allow to cool slightly. Serve with aged cheddar and a cup of tea.

Notes

  • Makes 10-12.

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