This recipe was adapted from a Hairy Bikers recipe so I think it would be unfair for me to claim the credit for just how amazing this thing is. Lots of waiting around involved in this one unfortunately due to the use of yeast but it is worth it.
Serves 10-12 depending on how you cut the ring.
Ingredients: (Ounce to Gram Conversion Chart)
7oz Caster Sugar
7g Dried Yeast
13oz Plain Flour
½ tsp Salt
2tsp Ground Allspice
2tsp Ground Cinnamon
5oz Candied Peel
3oz Ground Almonds
3 ½ oz Flaked Almonds
3oz Glace Cherries
5oz Icing Sugar
In a small pan, heat the milk, 2oz butter and 1oz caster sugar on a low heat until the butter is melted. Transfer the liquid to a jug and allow to cool from hot to warm in temperature. Once cooled enough, add the yeast, stir and leave for 10mins (you should see the yeast grow).
Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl and whisk in the allspice and salt so that the ingredients are evenly distributed. Make a well in the centre of the flour. Add most of one egg (reserve a little bit for later) to the yeast mix, stir and then pour into the flour. Bring the mixture together into a dough (you made need to add a little warm water if the mixture becomes too dry).
Lightly oil a work-surface with vegetable oil (or whatever oil you have to hand) and knead the ball of dough for 10mins. To knead dough, just press the palm of your hand into the dough, pushing it outwards to stretch it and then roll it back, repeating this action continuously (why bother with a gym membership when you can bake?).
Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough into it. Cover with a damp tea-towel and leave in a warm place for 2 hours until the dough has at least doubled in size.
In a mixing bowl, cream together the remaining butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy by pressing the mixture into the base of the bowl with a wooden spoon repeatedly. Mix in the cinnamon, candied peel, ground almonds, 3oz flaked almonds and glace cherries.
Uncover the dough and “knock it back” by whacking it with your hand to knock out all the air. Take the dough out of the bowl and on a lightly oiled surface, knead the dough for 5mins. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out, regularly flipping it over and turning it 90o between every few rolls. Roll it out until it is rectangular and about the size of a baking tray (about 1cm thick) and transfer to a sheet of baking paper (don’t worry about it stretching, just be quick). Spread the filling out on top of the dough as thin as possible (the filling won’t cover the whole surface) and then gently roll the dough from one of the long sides of the “rectangle” until you have a sausage shape.
Gently bring the two ends together to form a circle and paste them together with the remaining egg. Place the baking paper with the dough onto a baking tray. Cut the dough with scissors every 4cm or so about halfway in as shown below. Cover the dough with Clingfilm and leave in a warm place for 40mins.
Pre-heat the oven to 180oC (350oF, Gas Mark 4).
Bake the ring in the oven for 40mins, before taking out and allowing to cool (some of the filling will have probably oozed out during the baking, just to warn you). Add some hot water to the icing sugar to make it into a runny paste and pour over the cooled tea ring and then decorate with the remaining flaked almonds (I prefer to fry the almonds first to colour them) before serving.
My thanks to Sir Simon King and Sir David Myers.