These traditional tea cakes are very rich and loaded with dried fruit and cinnamon. Not for those on a diet, though!
Heat the milk with the butter until the butter has melted. Remove from heat and let it cool to 45C/113F. Meanwhile mix the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl for a freestanding mixer.
Beat the egg into the milk, then pour the liquid gradually into the flour mixture and mix into a dough that is not too sticky - you might not need all the liquid. Knead the dough in a freestanding mixer with a dough hook for five minutes.
Cover the dough with cling film and set aside to rise until double in size (about one hour).
Meanwhile for the lard and sugar mix, combine the sugar and cubed lard to form a soft paste. Add ground cinnamon to taste.
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Line two baking trays with baking parchment. Line 10 chefs rings, 8cm/3¼in diameter, with parchment paper, then butter and sugar the paper and set aside.
Cut the dough into 10 equal pieces, weighing them to ensure they are the same size. Roll each piece into a ball with your hands, then roll out out each ball into a 14cm/6in circle. Brush some of the lard and sugar paste on the top. Fold an edge of the circle to the centre, rotate and repeat so that a small hexagon is formed. Roll out to a 14cm/6in circle again. Repeat for all 10 and set them aside to rest for 10 minutes. Once rested, brush on more lard and sugar mix and sprinkle on the dried fruit. Repeat the folding into a hexagon procedure. Place each hexagon into a chef ring on the baking tray, with the folded sides facing up. Cover in cling film and set aside to rest until double in size (about 40 minutes).
Brush the lardy cakes with milk and place in the hottest part of the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden-brown.
Remove from oven and rest them in the tin for 15 minutes. Turn out the lardy cakes and sprinkle a mix of half sugar, half ground cinnamon on top of the lardy cakes.
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Paul and Mary share some of their favourite festive recipes in this one-off special.
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