Friday, 26 February 2016

Teacakes at Wheddon Cross

Johnny Kingdom and David Parker visited our February pop-up tearoom the other year, and tried one of our most popular menu items: our home-made teacakes.
They had just visited Snowdrop Valley, while filming the TV series Johnny Kingdom's Wild Exmoor. The book of the same name, by David Parker and with reflections on Exmoor from Johnny Kingdom, was published in 2015 by Halsgrove.
On page 49, David says of our tearoom: '...the food, all home-baked... is fantastic. I'm partial to a toasted teacake in the morning, Frank's home-made ones put the bought variety into some sort of perspective'.
For an affectionate and individual perspective on Exmoor through the seasons, take a look at the book. You will also find our special teacakes recipe in there, but here it is now for you.
Ingredients (makes approximately 12 teacakes)
200g mixed dried fruit
1kg strong white flour
1 tsp salt
100g butter
100g sugar
500 ml milk
5g yeast
1 tsp sweet mixed spices

Rub the butter and flour together in a large mixing bowl until they resemble fine breadcrumbs. Warm the milk to blood temperature and add the yeast, then add the milk and yeast, as well as the mixed spice, sugar and salt, to the flour and butter mix. Stir it all together and knead, then add the mixed fruit and work it into the dough. Cover the bowl lightly with clingfilm, set it in a warm place and allow the dough to rise for about an hour or until it has doubled in size. Then divide into 150g pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Put these on a baking tray which you have greased and lined with baking parchment or silicon sheet. Let the doughballs rise for approximately another hour, then bake at 200C for fifteen to twenty minutes.
Enjoy the teacakes the traditional way: toasted, with plenty of butter. Or for something different and also rather delicious, try them untoasted, with clotted cream and jam.
If you'd rather have teacakes made for you, then do come and visit!

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