Eccles Cakes with a Twist

So deliciously light and fabulously moist, the problem with these little cakes is you'll never be able to stop at one. I know making the pastry is a bit of a faff but I promise you it is a real delight if you do. If time constraints put you off, shop bought will work and you'll need 2 ready rolled packets. 
For the Pastry 
(You can use shop bought puff pastry, just add the zest into the filling)
250g plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
Zest of an orange
A pinch of salt
250g unsalted very chilled butter
Ice cold water
1 tbsp of fresh orange juice

The Filling
40g butter
30g brown sugar
70g caster sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
50g candied peel paste 
50g currants (raisins will work)
100g Dried cherries or dried cranberries if you can't find the cherries
70g dark or milk chocolate chips (milk will make them sweeter)
1 egg white, beaten
2 tbsp caster sugar

You will also need a baking tray lined with baking parchment 

Start by making your pastry, tip the flour, zest and salt into a large mixing bowl. Coarsely grate the butter  into the flour, holding the butter in its packet and pulling it down as you go. Using a palette knife or round edged knife, flick the flour over the grated butter until all of the pieces are covered. Add the orange juice and enough ice cold water to bring the dough together using the knife.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and bring together briefly using your hands.  Flatten into a rectangle, wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface roll the dough out into a rectangle roughly 50 x 15 cm  With one of the shorter sides of the rectangle nearest to you, fold the top third down into the middle and the bottom third up over this. You should now have a square measuring one third of the original size but 3 times as thick. Make a small mark in the dough to indicate which side is the top of the dough square. Wrap in cling-flim and chill for at least 30 minutes

Unwrap the pastry and place the square on the work surface in the same position as it was before with the mark at the top, turn the square 90 degrees clockwise and roll out into a neat rectangle roughly 50 x 15 cm. Fold the top third down into the middle and the bottom third up over it as before. Make a mark to indicate the top of the square and chill for another 30 minutes. 

Repeat this process two more times, always making sure that the dough is turned 90 degrees before you start rolling and chilling the dough in between turns.

While waiting for your pastry to chill you can make a start on the filling, melt together the butter and sugars in a pan over a low heat, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.

Tip the spices, peel paste and dried fruits into a bowl and pour over the melted butter. Stir to combine. Set aside to cool completely.

Roll out the pastry between two sheets of baking parchment to the thickness of a £1 coin and cut out 8 squares. 

Once the filling is completely cold you can stir in the chocolate chips, divide the fruit mix between the squares and pull the pastry up around the filling and pinch to seal, cut off the excess pastry. Turn them over, so the pinched seal is hidden, place on the prepared baking tray and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.

Preheat the oven to 190ÂșC

Brush the cakes with the beaten egg white and sprinkle over the caster sugar. Chill for at least 15 minutes. 


With a sharp knife make three slashes across each of the cakes. Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 18-22 minutes until golden.