Although Britain is famous for its very hardy and filling savoury dishes, such as the full English fried breakfast and the Sunday roast dinner with all the trimmings, we also make some of the most delicious puddings on the planet. Many of these are quintessentially British and although are very simple to prepare and make, are a marriage of the great flavours and textures of home grown and sourced ingredients.
Strawberries And Cream
Admittedly, this dish does not take very much time or effort to prepare, but that simplicity is the core beauty of this pudding. Simply take the husks off enough a handful of strawberries, whisk some double cream until it’s firm and then serve in a bowl for a delicious summer treat. To add extra texture to this pudding, add some meringue to make an Eton Mess. I am a big fan of tennis and Wimbledon and the dish most widely associated with Wimbledon is strawberries and cream. Which makes sense as the best time to pick strawberries and buy strawberries is towards the start of summer.
As well as having the most inappropriate name in the world, it is also one of the most famously all-British desserts. The spotted part refers of course to the dried fruit and it is thought that perhaps the dick part of the name comes from the German word for thick. It is made with suet and is traditionally served with homemade silky smooth English custard.
When I was growing up there was one cake that I loved more than any and that was Battenberg Cake. It was invented by the British Royal chefs in 1884 to celebrate the marriage of Queen Victoria’s granddaughter to Louis of Battenberg. It is a combination of pink and yellow sponge cakes and has a very delicate and tasty almond flavour.
I first came across jam roly-poly in school, as this was a dessert served on the days we didn’t have spotted dick. It is kind of like a warm Swiss roll and often had the nickname “dead man’s leg” or “dead man’s arm” as it was steamed and served inside an old shirt sleeve. I love having this with ice cream and watching the warm jam melt and mix with good old fashioned vanilla ice cream.
Stick Toffee Pudding
My late grannie used to always make sticky toffee pudding whenever we visited her down in Bristol. It is a steamed dessert that is a sponge cake with chopped prunes or dates and covered in a sticky, sweet toffee sauce. My grannie always served hers with both custard and some ice cream on top. I always loved watching the ice cream slowly melt and cover the pudding! I like to make it particularly when I miss grannie as it brings back so many good memories from my childhood.