Thursday, April 28, 2011

Eccles Cakes for the Royal Wedding


We've been keeping so busy with Easter, Earth Day, building a chicken coop, and the arrival of spring to the back yard, that I hadn't given much thought to the impending royal wedding.

Then last Saturday, over at my in-laws, my sister and I browsed a small stack of magazines dedicated to Will, Kate and big event. The ring! The story! The romance! I fell hard for the whole package.

The next day I bookmarked The Website, followed the Twitter account and even took a peak at the You Tube channel.

It's pretty magical, you have to admit. A prince, struck with tragedy so young, forever in the public eye, now marrying for love.

My mother married a British man nearly 40 years ago, my dear dad. I was delighted when she told me today that she was making her wedding cake again - a traditional English fruitcake- in honour of the royal wedding. She was also planning to rise at 3 am, go over to her sisters (my parents don't have TV) and watch the whole shebang. Mom, you are so cool.

Of course I've done a bit of baking of my own. Buttermik Scones are prepared for tomorrow's breakfast and wedding viewing. Although I'll be playing catch up online. No 3 am wake up for this mama.

If you're looking for an accompaniment to your tea tomorrow, may I suggest Eccles Cakes? Imagine a layer of black currants and sugar pressed between two sheets of puff pastry and baked to a crisp, caramelized delicious morsel. They've been a favorite of mine forever. That British background working its influence on my palate, I guess.

This particular interpretation of a classic British tea-time treat is more of a Canadian version of the original tea cakes of Eccles, England. With only three ingredients it is fast to make and you can easily whip up a batch for afternoon tea. So put the kettle on.


Eccles Cakes


ingredients:

  • 1 ½ lbs puff pastry, chilled
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup currants
Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Plump currants in hot water 10 minutes, drain and set aside.

Roll chilled dough in a floured surface in to a rectangle 3/16 inch thick. Put aside for a moment while removing all dusting flour. Sprinkle the work surface generously with sugar and continue rolling dough to 1/8 inch thickness.


Trim the piece in to a precise rectangle. Cover half the dough solidly with currants in a single layer. Sprinkle lightly with sugar. Fold the remaining half of the dough over the top of the currants.

Gently press a rolling pin over the entire surface until the black currants show through the sheet of thin dough. The result is a nice speckled appearance.

With a knife or pastry wheel, cut the dough into 2-inch squares and place 1-2 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.

Place in the refrigerator to relax the dough for 25 minutes while the oven heats.


Reheat oven to 375F.

Place the baking sheet in the middle of the oven. When the bottoms have caramelized and are light brown, carefully turn the cakes over and finish baking. ( I forgot to do this step, so my tops are less caramelized.)

Place cakes on rack to cool. Enjoy!

Ed note: excerpts and photos from this post were previously published in October, 2007.

26 comments:

jazzphiles said...

Loved the picture, with Mama Wimbush's teapot. Eccles Cakes! How could I forget? We have an English tea planned tomorrow at 11 am at a friend's place... which is really for Lyra - she's 7 and thrilled about watching a Royal Wedding. I remember watching Charles and Diana's when I was 7. It was a big deal. I'm making scones, but I have some puff pastry in the freezer. I'm very tempted... Love you.

Kendel said...

What a great idea! We've posted your recipe to our Redpath Sugar Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/redpathsugar :)

Julie said...

I ADORE eccles cakes!! thanks for the reminder!

Michelle said...

Big fan of black current, am up for it! Thank you Aimee !!!

For the porcelain lovers: We've got something for you table too :)

bellini said...

Somehow I was up at 2L00 in the morning watching the wedding asnd the precursor. Thern I hopped on a bus to Seattle so had to watch the kiss, etc on the news:D

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plumbing said...

It looks delicious. Thanks for sharing with us the recipe.

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