Recently I spoke about discovering the deliciousness that is an Eton Mess. There were many things in my year of living in England that stuck out, and I’m just realising that waaaay too many of them are food-related. Yorkshire puddings? Possibly the simplest of all of my food discoveries, but so satisfying. Yorkies – the label says they’re not for girls, but I ate so many of those chocolate bars! I visited tea shops and bakeries and bought ridiculously cheap 12 packs of doughnuts from Asda more frequently than I’d care to admit.
I relished in the healthy things too – proper Sunday roasts, complete with boiled cabbage (which I LOVE) and brussels sprouts with Christmas dinner.
But one of the things that I will never forget is the Bakewell tart. Bakewell was the third place in England that I ever visited. The first place was Manchester airport, the second place was Bamford, where I was staying during my time in England, and the third was Bakewell.
On my second day in England, I was taken to Bakewell by a gorgeous little lady who took me under her wing. She drove me Bakewell to get groceries and chuckled at my amazement. It was the cutest, oldest, cobblediest place I had ever seen in my life. We visited a local café and she recommended I try the Bakewell tart.
I had literally never heard of a Bakewell before. I love the way that the tart sounds like an affirmation of the baker’s skill. It’s bursting with almonds and affirmation. Bakewells will always hold a special place in my mind, so it’s lucky that they taste just as delightful as I remember the village of Bakewell to be.
- 150g butter
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ cup plain flour
- ¾ cup almond meal
- 1/2 tsp bicarb
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp almond extract
- ¼ cup seedless strawberry jam
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 3-4 tbsp water
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
Preheat your oven to 180° and put 12 patty pans into your cupcake tin.
Cream your butter and sugar together until pale. Add in the flour and mix to combine. Add in the almond meal and bicarb and mix. Beat the eggs into the mixture, ensuring that they mix well with the whole batter – you may need to give the sides of the bowl a good scrape.
Pour your milk into the mixture, followed by the almond extract and mix.
Spoon the mixture into patty pans, making sure you only fill them to about ¾ of the way.
Pop them into the oven for 12-16 minutes. When they’ve browned on top and are firm to the touch, they’re ready. Transfer them to a cooling rack once they’re out of the oven.
Fill the core of the cupcakes with as much jam will fit in them (it should be about half a teaspoon.) You don’t want to over-fill the core, otherwise you’ll have jam visible beneath the icing.
Set to one side.
Mix together the icing sugar and lemon juice. Add the water, one tablespoon at a time, until the icing is glossy and slightly runny. Spoon it over your cupcakes generously, making sure you cover the jam, and smooth out. Top with a single slivered almond. Pop into the fridge for ten minutes.