When you hear of Fat Rascals you immediately think of Betty’s the world famous tearooms. As I live in North Yorkshire, a visit to Betty’s is a lovely treat even though I hate the queues outside the York and Harrogate cafes. I love the one in Northallerton the best as it has a beautiful conservatory at the back as well as being less busy.
A Fat Rascal is a traditional Yorkshire delicacy which is very similar to a rock cake or a scone. There have been different variations of the Fat Rascal. Some recipes include using leftover pastry but they do include dried fruit.
Bettys introduced their version of the Fat Rascal over thirty years ago. Their version is based on a rock cake recipe with a face made from cherries and almonds. This soon became a best seller and now Bettys own the registered trade mark for the name “Fat Rascal”.
I have been going to an evening class which was called Introduction To Patisserie And Confectionery at my local college which has been an absolute pleasure to do. The course ran for ten sessions and our last session was two weeks ago. See, it’s taken me ages to sort this post out! On our last session our tutor asked us to bake Fat Rascals. As they’re my favourite thing to choose off the menu when I go to Bettys (not that I’ve been there for ages), I was really excited to have a go at baking my own version!
Apparently the original Fat Rascal recipe uses lard but I don’t like it! So I was glad that our class version was using all butter.
First, we had to sift flour and baking powder together in a large bowl, then add some cubed butter. We then rubbed the flour and butter in until the mixture made fine breadcrumbs.
To the bowl, we then added some caster sugar, some grated lemon and orange zest, grated nutmeg, ground cinnamon and some dried fruit (currants, raisins and sultanas). These were mixed in evenly.
Then, it was time to add in a beaten egg and some whole milk to bring the mixture into a soft dough. We had to form the dough into eight equal rounds and place them well apart on a lined baking tray. I think if I was baking these at home I might use two trays but at college we use massive commercial size trays and ovens.
We then made an egg yolk and water glaze to brush the top of the Fat Rascals to give them a shiny finish. To complete them we decorated them with glace cherries and whole almonds. I chopped the cherries in half on mine or else the Fat Rascals’ eyes would have been very bulbous, like a goldfish!
I remember standing behind my work station in the college kitchen thinking what a gorgeous smell. There’s something wonderful about the aroma of Fat Rascals baking. Must be something to do with the nutmeg and cinnamon!
When the Fat Rascals came out of the oven I was so tempted to break into one there and then. I’d already had my dinner earlier and this being January I was dieting! It would have to be for breakfast the next morning!
At the end of the class we also got to bake ginger biscuits, which I really enjoyed. On the whole the class had been fun, even though there were some things I found really easy. But a few of us were already looking forward to starting the Intermediate part of the course and some fresh challenges! Though I was very tired that night, I completely forgot to add the ground ginger in. So the ginger biscuits were actually plain ones!
Love Sam xx
4 responses to “Fat Rascals”
Thank you, Sam. Your produce looks so nice that it has my mouth watering. I’ve been to Yorkshire several time.s The last time was last October in Rotherham. I like Yorkshire Pudding. I’ve never tasted Fat Rascals Baking at all. I think I saw something in the supermarkets, maybe in Morisson’s or Asda but they didn’t look as tasty as your in theses pictures. That is perhaps how homemade production must differ from manufactured food. Keep up a good job. It’s very nice.
Hi Irini, Thankyou for your lovely comments. You might have seen something similar to Fat Rascals in the supermarkets, maybe scones? But Betty’s Tearooms own the trademark to the name Fat Rascals. They are delicious served warm, split in two and spread with butter. They are a real treat. I totally agree about homemade food tasting much better than manufactured cakes. Not only are they full of additives but they taste better. Hope you get to come back to Yorkshire one day and get to taste a legendary Fat Rascal.
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Oh, interesting! Maybe this autumn 🍂 if I have a occasion, ten I’ll pay more attention to where to go to treat myself to something delicious 😋.
Thank you for your reply too, Sam.