Handsome Chester Cake

Last weekend we got a taxi home from Cork city and after my few glasses of Sticks pinot noir ( really a nice wine) I was hanging over the passenger seat quizzing the taxi driver on his favourite food. What does he love to eat? I just had to know. Anyway he told us that his friend regularly gives him two rabbits and he ‘sticks ’em in a stew and bubbles ’em away with a few carrots and onions and two hours later tis handsome‘.

Now I just can NOT stop saying that everything is handsome. Your new baby girl is handsome. That wedding dress is pure handsome on you. A cup of tea: Handsome.

But little did I know that late night heart to heart with Joe le Taxi supplied me with the perfect adjective to describe Chester cake. A huge slab of highly spiced cake studded with plump sultanas, encased in buttery pastry and lovingly drenched in thick white icing. The cake of my childhood. So filling, so comforting. Handsome.

Chester Cake

Ingredients
12ozs stale good quality bread (I used a brown sandwich loaf and left the crusts on)
8ozs sultanas
8ozs brown sugar
2 tablespoon mixed spice ( I used Green Saffrons mix, unbelieveble stuff)
2 eggs
3ozs plain flour
2ozs butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 pint
2 tablespoons marmalade

1lb shortcrust pastry

Method
    1. Cover the stale bread with cold tea( I made a pot using 2 normal teabags and 1 chai teabag) and leave to soak for an hour. Squeeze dry by pressing mixture in a sieve over the sink.
    2. Sift the flour with the baking powder, add the sugar, then rub in the butter add spice mix.
    3. Add sultanas to well squeezed bread and mix well, turn into flour mixture and mix together well.
    4. Add the well beaten egg in the milk and stir, then add the marmalade and leave aside
    5. Roll out one portion of pastry to fit a baking tin(10,12,2) grease well, make sure to prick pastry with fork evenly on top and bottom.

6. Spread mixture evenly over pastry.

7. Cover with second portion of pastry.

      8. Pinch the side together to seal it. prick the top with a fork.

9. Bake in oven @ 180 for 1 hour 45 mins.

10. Leave cake in tin to cool. Then ice with thick water icing and cut into slices once set.

This recipe really does make a massive amount of cake but it does freeze well!

Lilly x

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