|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 23g||29%|
|Saturated Fat 5g||24%|
|Total Carbohydrate 56g||20%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||8%|
|Total Sugars 31g|
|Vitamin C 1mg||5%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Technically not a cakes, Eccles cakes are closer to a pastries but have been known as cakes for hundreds of years. Traditional pastries from the British town of Eccles, in Greater Manchester, these cakes are round and flat in shape, filled with dried currants and spices, and baked to a golden brown color.
Made with puff pastry, Eccles cakes are a delightful treat when eaten with Lancashire cheese, another product of the area. Our recipe produces cakes that are flaky, sweet, and buttery with the perfect amount of sweet, and they can be on your table in a short amount of time. By using store-bought puff pastry, you don't have to think about folding and chilling the coveted, difficult-to-achieve dough.
Though banned for a while by Cromwell's Puritans, much like mince pie and other succulent treats, the cakes really never went away, and luckily, the traditional recipe has been unaltered through the centuries to the relief of Eccles cakes enthusiasts. Purists frown at anything but a currant filling, as the fruit has the right amount of tartness and keeps its texture even after baked in the pastry. Whoever has attempted an alternate version with raisins knows that these turn mushy and are too sweet, giving the pastry an over-the-top sugary finish that is not intended. Find good currants and give these pastries a try. You might find your new favorite afternoon treat. The cakes keep well for two to three days in an airtight container.
Gather the ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 425 F. In a medium saucepan, combine 110 grams of the sugar and 25 grams of the butter and cook over medium heat until the butter is melted.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the currants, candied fruit peel, and nutmeg to the saucepan.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to 1/4 inch and cut into 4-inch rounds with the help of a wide glass or big cookie cutter. You'll need 10 disks.
Lightly grease a baking sheet with the remaining butter. Place each cut round onto the sheet and add a small spoonful of filling to the center of each disk.
Dampen the edges of the pastry with cold water and draw the edges together over the fruit. Pinch to seal.
Turn the patty over—it might look thick in the center—and then press gently with a rolling pin to flatten the cakes.
With a pair of cooking scissors, snip a V shape on top of each cake to help the steam escape during the baking process. For a more classic look, cut 3 slits on top of the Eccles cakes instead of the V shape.
Brush the cakes all over with cold water and sprinkle the cakes with the remaining sugar.
Bake in the center of the oven for 15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden brown.
Remove the Eccles cakes from the oven and place the Eccles cakes on a wire cooling rack to cool off.
Serve and enjoy cold or warm.
Additions and Substitutions
If you've mastered the classic currant filling, and you'd like a change, here are some suggestions that although not traditional are still delicious:
- Substitute 1/3 of the currants for dried cranberries, and add the zest of 1 clementine.
- Add 4 teaspoons of brandy to the fruit mix.
Why can't I microwave Eccles cakes?
For starters, because you want to eat them fresh out of the oven. Secondly, the microwave will change the texture, and they'll become soggy. But mainly you don't want to microwave an Eccles cake because there's a chance that the sugar on top will caramelize and catch fire.
Many reports in the U.K. of damaged microwaves and small house fires have been attributed over the years to Eccles cakes, so much so that the main brand that produces them has a message on the package to warn users not to heat up the pastry in the microwave. If needed, slightly warm in the conventional oven.