By William Baldie
Photography by Helena Willicott
A long time ago an elderly lady asked me about Eccles cakes – she wanted to know if I knew what they were and if I knew how to make them. At that time, I’ve never heard of it, but luckily we live in a technologically advanced age, so I quickly scrolled through my smart phone and in no time read all about Eccles cakes. Cakes that are named after the town of Eccles in England. They are supposed to be made with flaky pastry and contain a filling of currents and spices.
I’ve made Eccles cakes once after speaking to that lady, using store bought puff pastry. They weren’t bad, but they weren’t great either. So the other day I tried a batch again, but this time I made a shortcrust pastry, I added orange zest to the currents and used demerera sugar to sweeten the filling. They were so tasty! The pastry was light and simply melted in your mouth, while the filling had a deep and lasting flavour. I only made a small batch of these weird little cakes, but boy, did I regret doing that. The next time I bake these, it’ll be an enormous batch!