Tea and cake
PUBLISHED: 08:51 05 October 2013
In this multinational age, it is refreshing to find a successful café chain that has its roots firmly in the West Country. The Boston Tea Party has branches in Bristol and Bath (as well as Honiton, Exeter, Barnstaple and further afield).
Every branch is a one-off, with its own individual style, atmosphere and character.
The cafés have recently won two-star accreditation from the Sustainable Restaurant Association, but that is only part of the story.
On a recent visit, I persuaded chef Anita to share her recipe for Boston Bakewell with Somerset Life readers.
FOR THE PASTRY
175g plain flour
100g cold butter, cut into small cubes
25g icing sugar
One free range egg yolk
1tsbp cold water
FOR THE FILLING
350g raspberry jam, beaten
FOR THE FRANGIPANE
300g butter, softened
300g caster sugar
1/2tsp almond essence
300g ground almonds
60g self-raising flour
FOR THE ICING
500g icing sugar, sifted
30g toasted flaked almonds, to finish
1 Line a deep baking tray (about 30cm square or the equivalent) with baking paper. Put flour, butter and icing sugar into processor and pulse to breadcrumbs, then add yolk and water and process till smooth. Knead just a couple of times, wrap in plastic film and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
2 Roll out large enough to cover the base, bringing up the sides a little bit. Prick with a fork (to stop it rising). Bake at 180Cfan/200C for 15 minutes, till firm and golden, while you make the frangipane.
3 Beat the butter with sugar till pale, then beat in eggs and almond essence (do not overmix). Now add ground almonds and flour and beat till smooth.
4 When the pastry is cooked, cool it for just 2-3 minutes (before it cracks) then spread evenly with the jam, right to the edge. Spread the frangipane evenly over the top and bake at 140Cfan/160C for 20 minutes until golden, and a knife comes out clean when tested.
5 Cool completely. Beat icing sugar and water to make an icing, spread over top and sprinkle with almonds.