Sedgemoor Easter Cake
Small, round, c¾ins thick scones flavoured with sweet spices and brandy, the tops decorated with icing, tied in threes with ribbon to represent the Holy Trinity. Known from 'Good Things in England' by Florence White (White 1932)
Original Receipt from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, The Guardian, Saturday 11 April 2009
Sedgemoor Easter Cake
These Somerset specialities aren't really cakes - they're more of a rich shortbread studded with fruit and spices. Traditionally, they were tied into bundles of three to represent the Holy Trinity and given to friends on Easter Sunday. Makes 18.
2 tbsp brandy
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g plain flour
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
A few gratings nutmeg
1 good pinch salt
110g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
110g caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tbsp caster sugar or 70g icing sugar mixed with 2-3 tbsp milk
Line a large baking sheet with baking parchment. Put the currants in a bowl with the brandy and vanilla, and leave to soak for 10 minutes.
Sieve together the flour, mixed spice, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Rub the butter into the flour - use a light touch - then whisk in the sugar. Tip in the currants and brandy, add the egg and mix until it just comes together. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface and knead very gently until it comes together into a ball of dough. Chill for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.
Roll out dough until it's 0.5-0.75cm thick, then use a fluted or plain cutter to cut into 6cm rounds. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 16-20 minutes until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. While the cakes are still warm, dredge with caster sugar or make a glaze by mixing the icing sugar and milk until smooth. Brush more glaze over the cakes when they're cool.
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