Eccles Cakes

If somebody were to offer you Squashed fly cake you wouldn't be too impressed, would you? But the cake with the unappetising nickname - more a biscuit, actually - has been made in Eccles since at least 1793.

And it's still very popular as an afternoon pick-me-up or as a quick blitz of energy when you're out running or cycling.

Consisting of little more than puff pastry, dried fruit and sugar, Eccles cakes are very easy to make at home and ideal as an introduction when baking with the children.

Guess who came up with the cake's nickname in the first place.


Ingredients

Eccles Cakes © Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime.com
  • 15g butter
  • 25g currants
  • 25g chopped mixed peel
  • 25g soft brown cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 225g ready-prepared puff pastry
  • milk
  • demerara sugar

This quantity makes 8 Eccles Cakes.


Preparation

Preheat oven to 425°F / 220°C / Gas 7.

Dampen a baking tray with water.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the currants, mixed peel, sugar and allspice. Take off the heat and allow to cool.

Roll out the puff pastry on a floured board to about 5mm thick and cut out 8 rounds with an 8-cm cutter.

Put a heaped teaspoon of fruit mix in the centre of each round. Dampen the edges of the pastry with water, then draw them up until they meet in the centre and completely enclose the filling. Squeeze together to seal.

Place them on the baking tray with the seal underneath. Brush with the milk and sprinkle with demerara sugar.

You can cut a few slashes into the top to let the filling show through.

Bake until golden and puffed up - about 10-12 minutes should do it.

Take the cakes out of the oven and sprinkle with more sugar.

Leave to cool before serving ... now, here's a challenge!