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Hawkeshead Cake

(28 Posts)
knickas63 Mon 03-Jun-19 13:08:34

I have just read an article about some letters that Beatrix Potter wrote, and in one of them she praises her friends Hawkeshead Cake. I am curious - what is a Hawkeshead Cake? She mentions pastry and syrup - so I am thinking a sort of syrup tart? Does anyone know?

ginny Mon 03-Jun-19 13:44:33

Crisp pastry and an abundance of syrup.
So, something like a treacle tart I would imagine.

tanith Mon 03-Jun-19 14:11:02

Hawkeshead was the village she lived in maybe the cake was a speciality of a local baker.

ginny Mon 03-Jun-19 16:20:38

The three letters are signed with her married name of Beatrix Heelis and addressed to two sisters, Sissy and Maggie Wilson, who lived near her in Hawkshead, Cumbria.

One mentions gardening and praises a cake baked by them for "crisp delicacy of pastry and succulence of syrup".

wildswan16 Mon 03-Jun-19 17:14:34

Sir Google tells me:
Eccles cakes, Banbury cakes, Coventry Godcakes, Hawkshead cake and Chorley cakes all belong to the same class. They consist of pastry, short or puff as the case may be, round in the case of Eccles and Chorley, which are much about the same size, and in the case of the Hawkshead cake which is as large as a plate; but at Coventry taking the form of an isosceles triangle, and at Banbury made in the oval shape of a rather wide shuttle.

toscalily Mon 03-Jun-19 18:20:01

Could be Cumberland/Lancashire Current cake, similar to the Scottish Fruit Slice. Close relative to Eccles/ Chorley cakes. Made with shortcrust pasty, the filling is currents, butter & sugar which makes it quite sticky, but nice.

Witzend Tue 04-Jun-19 08:55:56

toscalily, that must be the 'currant pie' mentioned in one of Anthony Trollope's Barchester novels - I've often wondered what it was. Sounds yummy!

I remember it particularly because in the story one of the bishop's daughters was talking about the ghastly Obadiah Slope - 'and do you know, he's terribly greedy - did you see how much currant pie he ate yesterday?'
Or words to that effect!

MiniMoon Tue 04-Jun-19 09:08:02

Oh dear, you've forgotten the rum toscalily. Traditionally Cumberland rum Nicky cake was made with pastry dates butter and rum, but my Granny made it with currants. It was yummy. You can find the recipe online if you fancy making it.😋

dizzyblonde Tue 04-Jun-19 09:21:07

My great aunt, who lived with us, had been a baker in Bolton. She made a cake with leftover pastry which she called flat cake. A circle of pastry with some sultanas or currents, spoon of brown sugar and a knob of butter in the middle, draw up the sides and then roll the rolling pin over it to flatten it and bake. It’s delicious and a good way of using up remnants of pastry of any sort.

polnan Tue 04-Jun-19 10:21:09

and there`s me trying to lose some weight!

Boolya Tue 04-Jun-19 10:42:16

This reminded me that my mum used to make Sly Cake - dried fruit, currants I think between 2 layers of cake-y/pastry. I used to love it. Must ask Prof Google to see if he can find a recipe for it.

Craftycat Tue 04-Jun-19 10:48:03

No idea about cake but Witzend's post has had me looking out my copies of Trollope's books for another read- such a treat to re-read them yet again!

Willow10 Tue 04-Jun-19 11:27:30

I was brought up in Coventry and this is the first time I've ever heard of Coventry Godcakes. I'm not the only one according to the local newspaper - hardly anyone in Coventry has! Apparently it's a triangle shaped pastry filled with mincemeat -sounds a bit like an Eccles cake.

knickas63 Tue 04-Jun-19 11:46:41

Thank you all! Food for thought! Diet may take a hit!

mancgirl Tue 04-Jun-19 11:47:05

Chorley cakes are made with short crust pastry, Eccles cakes are made with puff pastry, both delicious. The flat cake described -left over pastry, currents/raisins, knob of butter, some sugar and then rolled out - was known as singing lily in our family. Or as my brother referred to it, swinging lucysmile

lincolnimp Tue 04-Jun-19 12:50:01

The left over pastry/currents etc flat pastry was always available in our house.
Mum was a brilliant baker so always had bits of left over pastry.
It became know as 'watchmeman' after a visiting little one asked what it was called. Mum said oh 'what do you call it' which he turned into 'watchmeman'

zsazsa Tue 04-Jun-19 13:17:27

My Lancashire grandma was still baking Currant Cakes in her 80s and there was one in the cake tin when she died.
We'd have them hot, straight out of the oven, with more butter on top! Delicious, but our poor arteries must have taken a hit.

ranorman45 Tue 04-Jun-19 14:22:45

I know currant cakes well,known jokingly in our family as fly pie by adults and children alike!

pollyolly Tue 04-Jun-19 14:55:22

Bolton 'Flat cake'. I lived in a town ten miles away where it was called 'Flat Madam', Mum made it and it was a favourite of male relatives.

toscalily Tue 04-Jun-19 15:46:21

Don't think I would dare make one as I would be tempted to eat too much, instead I occasionally buy a slice from a local baker. Goes down very well with an afternoon cup of tea. First time I had it was in a tiny cafe on the side of Lake Windermere.

rascalsgran Tue 04-Jun-19 20:24:35

My mum was from Cumbria and always made currant cake. A base of pastry. Currants, knob of butter, demerara sugar and pinch of mixed spice warmed through in a pan then put onto pastry and covered with pastry, crinkled edges, top pricked with fork then when cooling sprinkled with sugar-no wonder we loved it!

katynana Tue 04-Jun-19 22:29:08

Fatty cake in our house. The kids and grands love it.

Kate63 Wed 05-Jun-19 06:45:07

My Mum used to make flat cake too, Dad loved it.

travelsafar Wed 05-Jun-19 09:23:49

My Nan use to make yorkshire pudding batter then add sultarnas to it and cook in a tin with melted butter just like the savoury version.We had it with custard made with steralized milk and it was yummy!!!

Witzend Wed 05-Jun-19 12:26:36

Travelsafar, back in the 60s my Yorkshire student landlady used to make Yorkshire pudding with sultanas in, and serve it as a first course with gravy, before the meat. I found it odd but perfectly nice.

She also once gave me some cold meat that looked rather like tongue, but paler. I didn't think it was very nice but ate it anyway.
'Do you like that, duck?' she asked.
'Yes,' I said politely. 'What is it?'
'Udder.' 😱