Today is All Souls Day and if you have a little time to spare you may wish to make some Soul Cakes to remember loved ones. Now the purists amoung you may see that the recipe below is not quite traditional. I have a good reason for this - I have no eggs - my poor hens have obviously gone on strike and are refusing to lay (actually they are malting and also are getting a bit old now so the lack of eggs is to be expected). Anyway, whilst the below recipe may not be traditional, they were quite scrummy. The children handed them out after Sunday School at our village church at the weekend, wrapped in pretty bags with ribbons and they were gratefully received.
Soul Cakes - Makes about 25
60g/2oz caster sugar
115g/4oz softened butter
170g/6oz plain flour
1 tbps milk, plus extra for brushing
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp christmas cake spice (or mixed spice)
1 tsp ground ginger
a large handful of sultanas (you will need about 200)
maple sugar or caster sugar for sprinkling
Cream together the sugar and butter. Sift in the flour and whisk together with the milk, spices and vanilla until you have a soft dough. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes (if you are short of time you can omit this step and just use lots of flour for rolling out to make sure the dough doesn't stick). Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/350F/180C. Roll out the dough to about 1/2cm thickness on a clean flour dusted surface and cut out round discs using a 5cm cutter. Place on lined baking trays and press 8 sultanas into the top of each cookie as shown in the picture. Lightly roll over the tops of the cookies with a rolling pin to press the sultanas in. Brush the tops of the cookies with a little milk using a pastry brush and sprinkle with maple sugar (a delicious baking ingredient - if you see it buy it!) or caster sugar. Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes until golden brown then leave to cool on a rack. Enjoy!
Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx