Ribbon Cakes

Delightful little cakes, combining the sweet with the savoury, Ribbon Cakes are so called because originally the decoration was wade with fresh coconut cut into ribbon shaped strips.



8 oz. flour

1/2- teaspoon salt

8 oz. plus

1 teaspoon butter

5 fl. oz. iced water

2 oz. Cheddar cheese, grated

1 egg, lightly beaten


1 lb. icing sugar

3 tablespoons water

4 oz. desiccated coconut , lightly toasted

First, make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a medium-sized bowl. Add 2 ounces of the butter and cut it into the flour with a table knife. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the water and mix it into the dough with the knife until the mixture comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Lightly knead the dough until it is smooth and shape it into a ball. Wrap the dough in greaseproof or waxed paper and place it in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, put 6 ounces of the remaining butter between two sheets of greaseproof or waxed paper. Using a rolling pin or the back of a wooden spoon, beat the butter into an oblong approxi-mately {-inch thick. Set aside.

Remove the dough from the refriger-ator and place it on a lightly floured board or marble slab. Using a floured rolling pin, roll it out into an oblong approximately {-inch thick. Place the slab of butter in the centre of the dough and sprinkle over the cheese. Fold the dough over the butter and cheese to enclose them and to make a parcel. Place the dough in the refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes.

Remove the dough from the refriger-ator. Place the dough on the board or marble slab, with the folded ends facing you.

R9II the dough out into an oblong and fold it into three. Roll it out again and fold it into three. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Repeat this rolling and folding twice more.

Preheat the oven to hot 425 °F (Gas Mark 7, 220 C). Using the teaspoon of butter, grease a large baking sheet.

Roll the dough out to approximately {-inch thick. Using a 3-inch pastry cutter, cut the dough into circles. Place the dough circles on the baking sheet and brush with the beaten egg. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Transfer the pastries to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the decoration. Place the icing sugar in a small mixing bowl. Add the water and, using a wooden spoon, beat them together until the icing is stiff and smooth. Stir in the coconut.

Pour a tablespoon of the icing on top of each pastry. Set aside for 30 minutes or until the icing has set, before serving.

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