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Soaking raisins for cakes and pastries

For yeast dough it’s a must – hot cross buns, Chelsea buns, tea cakes – but fruit scones will benefit as well if the fruit is soaked before adding it to the pastry. Weigh out the desired amount of raisins or sultanas, place them in a ziplock bag and add about half a cup of hot liquid. Close bag, leave to soak for at least an hour, best overnight. Water is fine but fruit juice or liquor better – clear white rum, port (but be careful as it might colour the dough), sherry or kirsch. Drain thoroughly and shake off - and additionally rinse if using port.


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