Eccles Cakes with Potted Stilton

Makes 16

For the Eccles cakes:

100g unsalted butter

150g unrefined caster sugar

200g currants

25g red wine vinegar

5g ground allspice

500g all-butter puff pastry

Egg wash (1 egg yolk beaten with 2tsp milk)

For the potted Stilton:

100g Stilton, at room temperature

50g Mascarpone

75g unsalted butter, at room temperature ½tsp salt

30g Pedro Ximénez sherry

½tsp sherry vinegar

To start the Eccles cakes, melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat, then add the sugar and heat until the mixture begins to bubble. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the currants, vinegar and allspice. Allow to cool completely.

Portion the mixture into 16×25g balls, put on a tray and place in the freezer for 1 hour. Roll out the pastry to a thickness of 3mm, then cut out 16 circles using a pastry cutter (approx 9cm).

Brush the circles with egg wash, then place the frozen filling in the centre of the circles and wrap the pastry around it. Press together the overlapping edges to seal, and roll between your hands to form a perfect ball.

Turn each cake over so the join is on the bottom and slash the top with a knife three times. Place the cakes in the freezer for at least 30 minutes (they can be left in the freezer at this stage if making them in advance of serving).

For the potted Stilton, put the Stilton, mascarpone, butter and salt into a bowl and blitz with a hand blender until smooth.

Gently warm the sherry, 55g cold tap water and the sherry vinegar together in a small saucepan until almost simmering.

Slowly add the sherry and water to the cheese and mix carefully until well combined. Decant into small ramekins or a single bowl and place in the fridge to set (approx 1 hour).

Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Brush the surface of each cake with egg wash and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry turns golden brown.

Take the potted Stilton out of the fridge 10 minutes before serving with the warm Eccles cakes.