Friday, April 2, 2010

Sedgemoor Easter "Cakes"

CAKES??? Quoi?? Don't know why these are called cakes because they are made like biscuits/cookies and they end up like such!! They are good though, and I can't wait to dunk one in a steaming hot cup of tea.....James said they taste like Christmas in a cookie, which may be because the recipe is the old English standby of various, sundry and seemingly unending combinations of flour, sugar, better, eggs, dried fruit and candied peel. I searched high and low for a more elaborate Easter recipe to do but honestly the only other one I came up with that is traditionally British is Simnel Cake which I did last year...(you can do a search up in the left hand corner for this, I tried to do a link here but it didn't work)....it was LOVELY though and again a combination of the heretofore mentioned ingredients....make them both I say!!! Cookie cakes and a cake!!
Here's todays easy and quick recipe:
"Sedgemoor Easter Cakes" from a recipe in "Good Things in England" by Florence White...a great compendium of wonderful old English recipes...recently republished and available through Persephone Books

White flour 8ozs/2 cups
Butter (salted for me please) 4ozs/1 stick
Fine sugar 4ozs/1/2 cup
4ozs/1/2 cup plus a little more currants/raisins/white raisins/sultanas...whatever you prefer...I prefer sultanas because they are juicier
2ozs candied peel...I made my own and did orange and Meyer lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
(I personally am not that keen on mixed spice and cinnamon so I put in 1 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg, my fave!)
1 egg whisked
2 tablespoons of brandy (I didn't have brandy on hand so I used maple syrup so I wasn't missing out on this amount of liquid)
1. Rub the butter into the flour
2 Add sugar, dried fruit, candied peel and spices..and gently mix in
3. Add brandy, or in my case maple syrup!, to the egg, mix and then mix into the dry ingredients.
4. The mix/dough is very sticky so blend as well as you can and then just tip it all onto a well floured board and gently squush together until it is ready to roll out...I actually didn't even use a rolling pin...I just used the flat of my hand and pushed it into the shape I needed...a 1/2" deep round.
5. Cut out circles of about 3" diameter...you should get about 5 or 6...transfer to a cookie sheet.
6. The recipe says bake in a moderate oven which I translated to 325F for about 25 minutes...I actually turned mine over when I could see they were getting quite brown on the bottom and were not done on the top...and I think I overbaked them a little, which I have a tendency to with cookies/biscuits, follow your intuition...they should be nicely golden brown.
7. Ta dah!! Let them cool and munch away!!

The 'cakes' before and after...
The first daffodil.....right on cue!!! Well done little flower and welcome!!
More daffs on the way and some lovely bright crocus...hello!!
And a picture of what we call the enchanted forest next to the house...plenty of daffs here...hooray!!
I'll be with you again on Sunday...just to say "Hi"
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