Leeds nurse’s cherub cakes in final of baking contest

Anne Aitken
Anne Aitken
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A nurse’s family recipe for a special version of the Fat Rascal is in the running to be sold in supermarkets across the country.

Anne Aitken is in the final of the Taste Off competition on the ITV Lorraine programme.

Now the people of Leeds are being urged to vote for her recipe – for ginger and orange cherubs – to win.

Anne, from Bramhope, Leeds, said: “They are a family favourite, passed down from my grandma. The recipe is written down in my mum’s recipe collection, which she started in 1947 when she started working as a secretary at the Cornhill in Leeds.

“I have adapted the recipe over the years depending on what ingredients I have in the cupboard. We are a family of gingerholics and I have added ingredients to the this version to satisfy our tastebuds.

“I named them ‘ginger and orange cherubs’ because as a child my mum called me her ‘little ginger cherub’ – we’re all redheads.”

The nurse at Street Lane Practice in Roundhay said she’d made a batch of fat rascals a few days before seeing details of the contest on TV and wanted to share the traditional Yorkshire recipe.

“Over the years I have made them with my own little cherubs who have loved making and decorating them.

“As you eat a cherub, the flavours hit you bit by bit. First you get a mild taste of ginger and spice. It is followed by orange from the use of fresh chunky orange zest. Raisins and apricots provide additional texture and flavour.”

Anne, who is married to David, said she was excited to be in the final but apprehensive before appearing on TV earlier this week.

Now she is hoping family, friends and patients will vote for her as the winner will see their cake sold in Waitrose stores.

Voting is open until noon on Monday and the winner will be revealed on Tuesday. Call 03301236101 to vote for Anne’s ginger and orange cherubs. Callers may vote more than once.

* How to make Ginger and Orange Cherubs

Ingredients: 125g plain flour

125g self-raising flour

125g unsalted butter

1 tsp baking powder

Pinch salt

90g golden caster sugar

1 heaped tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Zest 1 large orange, coarsely chopped

50g crystallised ginger, chopped

50g raisins

50g ready soaked stoned dried apricots, chopped

4 tbsp double cream

1 large egg, beaten- reserve a small amount for glazing

To decorate - 6 glace cherries- halved, raisins or currants

Preheat oven to 180C / 350F / Gas4

Grease two baking sheets

Sieve the flours and baking powder into a large bowl and rub in the butter.

Add the salt, sugar and spices and mix well.

Stir in the orange zest, ginger, raisins and apricots and stir until well combined.

Make a well in the centre of the dry mix and add the cream and egg.

Stir until a dough starts to form then gently knead with the hands until the dough is formed.

Cut into 12 pieces (approx 60g per portion) and roll into a ball.

Place on a baking tray and flatten gently with the palm of the hand.

Brush with the beaten egg and decorated with 1/2 cherry for the nose and raisins or currants for the eyes and mouth (children love this part).

Bake for 15mins until golden brown

Enjoy warm from the oven with butter or thick cream and jam. Great for lunchboxes too or simply on their own for a little treat!

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