“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
"Winter is dead.”
~AA Milne, when we were very young
Sunday, 26 February 2012
Last night in bed, I finally got around to reading the January issue of BBC Good Food Magazine. I know . . . me bad! I am way behind on my reading . . . the April issue is due any day now, so that shows you just how far behind I am! I need to get crackin!
I was immediately taken with a teaser on the cover which said . . . "Favourite recipes get a fresh twist!" You know me . . . I love to take traditional recipes and give them my own personal touch, so I was really interested in this article.
"Your favourites made even better" was the title on the page, page number 100. Sarah Cook had taken well loved classics and put a unique twist onto them. The first one I tried was the one here today. And if it is any indication of how tasty the others are we are in for a few real treats. There are recipes for Cottage Pie Bake, Scotch Egg Pie, Doughnut Muffins (I already have my own version of that one. It is possible she reads my blog? One never knows!!) and Bakewell Cheesecake.
First up though was this fabulous Eccles Cake. On the recipe by-line she states the following: "Since creating this cake, I can't seem to stop making it. Christmas, Bake Sales, Birthdays . . . it goes down well on any occasion." And NO SMALL WONDER!!! This is an absolutely fantastic cake!
Now, I am no stranger to Eccles Cakes. Eccles Cakes are lovely little fruity pastries, made with puff paste and a delicious raisin and currant filling. I've showed you them on here before. Wonderful things they are . . . admittedly it's been far, far too long! I first tasted Eccles Cakes out in Suffield, Alberta when we were living there. A little geordie girl named Sheena baked them one afternoon and brought them to the artclub I belonged to and it was instantaneous love. They were beautiful.
So is this cake, which takes that wonderful fruity and spicy Eccles Cakes filling and puts it smack dab in the middle of a buttery moist buttermilk apple cake! Wowsa Wowsa!!
Oh my . . . but I am in love here. The cake on it's own is beautiful . . . so moist and stogged with lovely little bits of apple. The filling is rich and fruity and spicy . . . the topping is sweet/tart with a bit of sugar crunch . . . the three together are very moreish indeed.
In short, this cake is a winner! Run . . . don't walk . . . to the shops and grab the ingredients today. You won't regret it . . . well, maybe your hips might regret it just a tad bit, but what the heck . . . life isn't worth living if you can't indulge yourself once in a while.
The Toddster is a very happy camper. He just adores this Eccles Cake. I think he's found a new favourite!
Makes one 9 inch round, deep cake
All the flavours of a traditional Eccles Cake of the pastry variety, except in a cake! Scrummy!
250g pack of butter, softened (1 cup plus 1 1/2 TBS), plus more for buttering the tin
250g of soft light brown sugar (1 1/4 cup Packed)
2 tsp vanilla
4 large free range eggs
100g of plain flour (1 generous cup)
250g self raising flour (2 1/3 cup)
4 fluid ounces buttermilk (1/2 cup)
2 eating apples, peeled, cored and diced into 1/4 inch dice
for the filling:
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice (see recipe in right side bar )
1/4 tsp ground cloves
the zest of one unwaxed lemon
2 TBS melted butter
2 TBS soft light brown sugar, packed
85g of currants (9 TBS)
85g of raisins (9TBS)
50g of chopped mixed peel (2 TBS)
85g of sifted icing sugar ( 10 1/2 TBS)
the zest and juice of one unwaxed lemon
a few sugar cubes, roughly crushed
Preheat the oven to 160*C/325*F/ gas mark 3. Take a deep 9 inch round cake tin and butter it well. Line the botom and sides with parchment paper and butter the paper. Set aside.
Make the filling by mixing together all of the filling ingredients. Set aside.
Put the butter, sugar and vanilla into a large bowl. Beat with your electric whisk until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then fold in the flours, buttermilk and apples. Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan. Scatter the filling over top, leaving a 1 inch clear border all the way around. Spoon on the remaining batter. I did this by spooning batter into the free edge all the way around and then dolloping the rest over the top of the fruit filling, then spreading it all out evenly.
Bake for 1 hour and 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the tin. Once cooled remove.
Whisk together the icing sugar with the lemon juice to make a drizzle icing. Drizzle over top of the cake and then scatter with the sugar cubes and lemon zest. Store in an airtight container.