There’s something about a toasted teacake.
Maybe it’s just me, but the whole soft bready nature, just a little bit of fruit – that hint of sweetness, but not too much – toasted and slathered in butter.
And it was a conversation at a gin tasting that put this idea in my head. Soaking the fruit in gin – or more specifically, gin and tonic. I was informed that a bakery in the north is going to be making G&T style teacakes. But as yet, nobody has confirmed that these buns are going ahead.
So, while we wait and see if these are going to be made available, I figured I should just go ahead and make my own. And also a variation on a theme: Negroni teacakes.
Oh yes, very boozy. Admittedly, adding booze means they don’t rise as speedily the second time so you’ll need to give them as long as you can. And you may need a little bit more flour, but I kind of think they’re worth it.
The teacake recipe is adapted from one Paul Hollywood, with a few tweaks – as well as an extra ingredient or two. And speaking of gin, something citrus heavy like Poetic License Old Tom, or indeed a juniper heavy gin like Tanqueray or Greenall’s London Dry would work beautifully. I used the latter in this recipe, alongside Franklin’s Indian Tonic Water.
Oh and in the Negroni? If you have it, try it with the Forest Gin Earl Grey. If you can stop drinking it anyway.
- 500g Strong bread flour (plus extra for dusting)
- 10g Salt
- 60g Golden caster sugar
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 8g Instant yeast
- 50g Unsalted butter, softened
- 300ml cool water (you may not need all of it)
- Vegetable oil for kneading
- 100g Sultanas
- 100g chopped mixed peel
- 35ml Gin of your choice
- 100ml Tonic of your choice
- Milk for brushing
- Put the mixed peel and the sultanas in a bowl, add the gin and tonic.
- Stir, cover, and let sit til you need them - this allows the fruit to soak up the booze.
- Acivate your yeast - add it to 1tsp of the sugar and 100ml of the water in a jug. Leave for ten minutes, until the yeast goes all frothy and excited.
- Meantime, put the flour into a bowl.
- Add the salt, sugar and cinnamon to one side of the bowl and the yeasty water to the other.
- Add the butter and start to bring it together. The dough should be soft, but not wet.
- Coat your work surface with a little oil to stop the dough sticking, then tip the dough out onto the work surface.
- Knead it until it becomes soft and silky, then pop it back into the bowl, cover it with oiled clingfilm and leave it to rise for at least of 1 hour (more than this is fine).
- Once the time is up and your dough is risen, line two baking trays with baking parchment.
- Meantime,drain your fruit. Keep the liquid - you'll want that later.
- Tip the dough out onto a floured surface, knead and stretch it out, and tip the fruit on top.
- The fruit will be a little wet, so you may need a bit more time to mix it all in, and a little bit more flour.
- Once everything is combined, divide the mixture into eight (or six if you're feeling greedy), roll into shape and place on the baking trays.
- Cover again and leave to rise for at least an hour again.
- Then preheat your oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 5.
- Brush the teacakes with milk and put into the oven for 10-15 minutes.
- When they're done and nice and golden, put them on a rack to cool, and brush them with the syrup left over from the fruit. This will make the top all sweet and sticky.
- To make the Negroni version, simply swap the G&T for 35ml Gin, 35ml Campari and 35ml Vermouth, and 35ml water.