Cornwall is one of the few places in the UK where saffron is used to make cakes and buns, though similar delicacies can be found in a few places around the world.
Saffron cake is a rich yeast dough cake that is flavoured with saffron and contains currants. With the delicate saffron flavour also comes the rich and distinctive yellow colour to the cake.
Traditionally saffron cakes were only made at Easter time, though thankfully they are now available to enjoy all year round with a cup of tea!
It is said that you never talk of a ‘Cornish pasty’ in Cornwall. It’s always referred to simply as a pasty…
The delicious savoury parcel is a meal in itself, and doesn’t need to be accompanied by anything – other than a nice cup of tea. The vegetables within, comprising onions, potatoes and swede (called turnip in Cornwall), must be sliced. The meat, usually skirt or chuck steak, should be chopped. The filling always goes into the pasty raw, and baking takes upwards of an hour during which time the filling steams and its flavours blend together – acting to form a gravy.
No preparation would be complete without ensuring the emergency rations have been packed. In my case this always includes Kendal Mint Cake.
While not a traditional ‘cake’ this post could be equally at home in the A nice cup of tea andâ€¦ series, though I feel further testing is required before I put a seal on the best Kendal Mint Cake and perhaps had a chance to visit the various establishments in Kendal (there are currently three companies that produce mint cake).
Kendal Mint Cake is the best combination of sugar, water and peppermint oil to be found, and can only be bettered when the chocolate coated variety is at
hand mouth. Due to its high energy content it makes for a very good emergency ration.
Not content with just having one delicacy, Melton Mowbray is the home to several – the most famous is probably the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie.
The oldest remaining bakers of authentic Melton Mowbray Pork Pies in the town centre today are Dickinson & Morris, who have been baking pork pies there since 1851. After being refurbished after a fire in 1992 their shop – or as they call it “Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe” – can be visited on Nottingham Street. The shop celebrated its 150th Anniversary of pork pie making in 2001, and I am sure not many shops can match that!
After and early start (apparently there is a 6 o’clock in the morning), a full day at the Birdfair, and seeing 7 opsreys at Rutland Water, there was quite some need for sustenance. Thankfully we were not far from Melton Mowbray the home of pork pies and Melton Hunt Cake.
Melton Hunt Cake is a rich, moist fruit cake first created by Joseph Morris in 1854 for members of the local hunt. The cake is still made using the original recipe and method, combining the finest ingredients: sultanas, currants, muscovado sugar, butter, fresh eggs, cherries and almonds all enhanced with Caribbean Rum.
Having now let the flat, it might be a while before I come back and enjoy one of the delicious Maids Of Honour cakes at Newens.
Before we delve into the paper bag to retrieve the 2 cakes, a little bit of history is in order as these original cakes have quite a pedigree…
This is a variation of the traditional cream tea, with the addition of fresh strawberries (which could tip the balance and ensure it meets the criteria for part of a five-a-day diet).
Unfortunately on this occasion the cream was not clotted, though the addition of strawberries was most welcome and make this a refreshing variation.
Quite simply tea taken with a selection of scones, cream, and jam. For the best experience the cream should be clotted and I would suggest the jam be strawberry.
Combining ice cream, jelly, cream and fruit this pudding should always be served in a large tall glass to ensure the correct alignment of flavours and textures. With this combination of ingredients it might also count as part of a five-a-day diet.
Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread is a biscuit of the highest quality – and quite possibly the holy grail of gingerbreads. Made with loving care and attention in Grasmere, Cumbria – deep in the heart of the Lake District – it is only ever made in Grasmere, and the only* place in the world you can purchase it from is Gate Cottage – THE Grasmere Gingerbread Shop.
*that’s if you exclude your living room, or anywhere else where you have internet access, as you can (thankfully) purchase it online at www.grasmeregingerbread.co.uk. Be cautious of fakes, none is genuine without trademark. Continue reading