Can't believe the end of MoFo is nearly upon us - it kind of snuck up on me, so I've had to do a double post today!
So, the second in this double header is Eccles cakes, which are named after Eccles, a town near Manchester where they were first sold at the end of the 18th century.
They're not cakes in the sense that we know them today - they're pastries filled with sugar, spices, mixed peel and currants and baked until all puffed and tasty.
As I've mentioned before, currants give me the fear, so as a kid, I loathed the Eccles cake. My brother would tease me they were made of dead flies, and I remember every bite being filled with hard dried fruit. Yuck.
Still, there's no currant evil that can't be undone with tasty sultana magic, so I picked a traditional Eccles cake recipe (you can find it here) and veganised it with soy milk and butter equivalent.
It's really simple to make - just fry a handful of sultanas and a spoon or two of mixed peel in a little vegan butter for a couple of minutes, then add a few shakes of cinnamon and sugar. Next, scoop a heaped spoon into a circle of ready made puff pastry. Gather the pastry together and seal with non-dairy milk, then invert and pat down and shape into a little round cakey thing. Put a couple of cuts in the top, brush with milk, sprinkle on some sugar then bake as per the instructions on the puff pastry pack.
Here's what happened:
Thanks to the addition of the sultanas and removal of the currants, it was pretty tasty - way nicer than the dry flakey grimness I remembered as a kid. They may not be traditional recipe, but they were pretty darn good.
If you make them at home, it's up to you whether you go sultana, currant or something else entirely, but whatever you do, don't forget to put the three slits on the top. Why? It's traditional - and some traditions really can't be ignored!