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Betty's Fat Rascals

Betty's Fat Rascal Recipe

The BBC recently aired a program called "remarkable places to eat" hosted by Fred Sirieix. Fred went behind the scenes into the bakery and we were able to get a bit of a sneaky peak of the process that Betty's uses to make Fat Rascals. 

This is my original Fat Rascal recipe which I've tweaked to encompass Betty's spin on this famous bake. I'm sure it isn't exactly spot on, but I have a sneaky suspicion that it's pretty close. One thing is for sure, they taste absolutely amazing. 

It's a simple recipe and it's really easy to tweak if you want to play with the ingredients. For example, I use currants and mixed peel in this version. But you could use any dried fruits you have to hand or incorporate some nuts or seeds.

Feel free to experiment with the spice mix too. I like using cinnamon in these rascals but I use it sparingly. When I eat them I like to be teased with the spices, to the point where I'm searching my brain to identify exactly what they are. 

Fat rascals are hugely popular at Betty's tea rooms. Their production kitchen makes 16,000 rascals a week. It's obviously great testimony to the quality of the baking that Betty's achieve. 

This is the perfect recipe to get the kids involved with. Glacé cherries and blanched almonds are used to create fun faces. But don't be limited to these, let the kids run wild with different nuts and fruits. 

These fat rascals are the epitome of home baking, lots of fun and great to eat!

Don't forget to watch the YouTube video linked at the bottom of this recipe to see the process from start to finish.  

Click here to have a look at Betty's online.

This recipe makes 5 fat rascals when divided into 160g portions.

Times & temperatures

My kitchen temperature: 18c / 65f
Oven temperature: 200c / 390f
Oven setting: Bake mode (top & bottom heat with fan turned off)
Bake time: 20 minutes

Recipe & Method

150g Unsalted butter
80g Brown sugar
Zest from 1 orange
1/4 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp finely grated nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
150g all purpose flour
150g Self raising flour
2 eggs
75g mixed peel
75g currants
Pinch of salt
(touch of double cream may be needed to adjust the consistency of the mixture)

To decorate
5 glacé cherries cut in half
15 blanched almonds

1. Cube your butter and leave it at room temperature to soften. Using an electric whisk fluff the butter up. You can use a hand whisk or a spatula, it just takes a little longer.

2. Add the brown sugar to the bowl and cream the ingredients together for 2 minutes using an electric whisk or a spatula.

3. Grate the zest of one orange into your bowl. Add the cinnamon and the nutmeg, now mix the ingredients together loosely. 

4. Add the salt, baking powder and flours to the bowl, followed by the mixed peel and the currents. 

5. Mix the ingredients to combine and then add the 2 whole eggs to your bowl. Mix again to make sure that all of the ingredients are properly mixed.

You are aiming for the same texture as I achieve in the video. The dough should be easy to shape with your hands but not too wet. 

If you feel your mixture is a little dry you can add a touch of cream or milk to adjust it. Do this a little at a time. 

6. Now it's time to shape the little rascals. You can make them big or small. The mixture weighs 800 grams and I divided it into five 160g portions. 

Shape into balls and flatten off the top and bottom. I prefer to do this loosely so that the fat rascals open up a little during baking. You can make the balls of dough more compact if you prefer. 

7. Place on a baking tray lined with nonstick baking paper or a silicon mat. Bake in the centre of an oven that has been preheated to 200c or 390f for 20 minutes.

8. Leave to cool on a wire rack. These fat rascals are best eaten slightly warm!

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