Bakewell tarts/puddings are a thoroughly traditional thing in England. It’s the kind of thing that immediately evokes memories of childhood when I taste it – something that grandma would, without fail, bring out a plate of as part of an afternoon snack or a buffet lunch.
For those not familiar with Bakewell tart it’s a shortcrust pastry shell beneath layers of jam, frangipane, and a topping of flaked almonds. The Bakewell pudding came before the tart . There’s some dispute about its origins and age (as you can see from the Wikipedia article) but although nobody can agree on a date it seems to have come around about 200 years ago and resulted from a kitchen accident although some doubt has been cast on this anecdote.
However old it is, Bakewell tart has always been a favourite of mine. After treating ourselves to a Bakewell tart, I had an idea to try making a Bakewell cupcake just to mix it up a bit and I was really happy with the results first time. Light fluffy, almondy cupcakes with a burst of cherry jam in the middle (I used Morello cherry jam to offset the overall sweetness), topped with some white fondant icing and flaky almonds. Admittedly I’ve taken some liberties with the “traditional ” Bakewell but the original flavours are there and, let’s be honest here, experimentation is one of the joys of cooking isn’t it?
It seems there’s no hard and fast rule on what kind of jam to use with Bakewell – I like cherry but raspberry is another popular flavour and I’ve seen variations including lemon and chocolate over the years. It’s just another thing that I’m going to be experimenting with at some point!
Now I used fondant icing as I had, at the time just treated myself to my icing tool kit. I had an afternoon of fun (and frustration) cutting out shapes and letters and making pretty patterns on the white fondant that I topped the cupcakes with. You could use glace icing but of course you would miss out on all that fun. If, like me, you struggle with standing up for a long time and contorting yourself into odd head positions to do the icing, you can easily do the finishing touches to the cupcakes while sat down.
So let me know what you think of the cupcakes via the comments section or by using the Contact Me form on the site. I’m also on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter so feel free to tag me in your posts – I love hearing from you! Enjoy DDx.Print