Quick and tasty: Mechels cakes

Mechels cakesI haven’t been blogging regularly lately, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been baking! I’m in the middle of preparing a move (boxes everywhere) so I don’t always find the time to write everything down… Also, I’m going for fast and easy recipes now, and this is definitely one of them!

I’m getting into a phase where I’m getting more confident in baking and I’m starting to try my own variations or twists. This is such a recipe and with it comes the difficulty of finding a name! As it the shape and concept of Eccles cakes but with a more Belgian content, I opted for “Mechels cakes” as I will soon be living in Mechelen anyway (@Sophie, we’re moving in six weeks, so we should definitely go for a coffee once we’re settled in!) so it seemed like a nice reference. Luckily, not only the name sounds good, they tasted great as well (otherwise I wouldn’t be sharing the recipe of course). This time we didn’t have any leftovers for family or colleagues…

Here’s how to make it: in a small saucepan, heat 50 g raisins with 20 g dark rum and 40 g water. Put the lid on and allow to simmer for 20 min, then drain. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Chop 1 apple in small pieces and mix it with the drained raisins, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, the crushed seeds of 4 cardamom pods and 3 cloves, a pinch of ground ginger and a pinch of ground nutmeg. If you have a sweet tooth, you can add 1 tbsp sugar as well.

Take a roll of shop-bought puff pastry and cut 8 cm circles from it (if you buy pastry in a block, roll it out to 2-3 mm thickness). Put a teaspoon of the filling in the middle of the disks, brush the sides with beaten egg or water and bring the edges together into the centre, ‘wrapping up’ the filling. Turn the discs over, seam side down, and flatten them slightly by hand or with a rolling pin. Place on a baking tray slightly spaced apart, brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Make three incisions with a knife (about 1 cm long) and bake in the oven for 20 min or until golden brown (if you added sugar, the raisins and sugar will caramelise through the holes). Allow to cool on the baking tray for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy while listening to Moves like Jagger by Maroon 5. Use up leftover filling in bread pudding or in cookies.

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