The Best British Baked Goods for a Cold-Weather Treat
Words by Jane Sandwood. As the weather gets chillier the closer we get to the holiday season, a warm cup of tea is the classic way to warm up frozen fingers. In the British way, a cup of tea and a biscuit can cure all ills, and everyone has their own favourite sweet treat. In fact, Brits manage to get through 141 million packets of biscuits collectively in a year. Whether it’s an old classic like a jammie dodger or a Jaffa cake, or something new and exciting like a macaron or tartlet, there are near infinite types and interpretations to choose from.
Classic British Biscuits
Scottish shortbread is perhaps the simplest and most classic of all the British biscuits. Its plain, sweet, almost stodgy taste and texture make it easy to make and easy to love. Some types, with chocolate, caramel, or dried fruits are also popular in Scotland, and around the rest of Britain, like Millionaire’s Shortbread, which has caramel and chocolate on top. Shortbread is similar to the Welsh Aberffraw biscuit, also made from butter and sugar. Grasmere ginger shortbread is another variation from the North of England with a spicier flavour. Other British biscuits often use sultanas and dried fruits, rose water, almonds, caraway seeds, and other spices to lend bold, bright flavours to otherwise an basic biscuit. Taking the classic flavours of British baking and using them as inspiration for macarons, cakes, and other fun desserts is a new way to get a taste of the classics in a fun new way.
Classic British Cakes
Cakes in Britain go far beyond the traditional birthday offerings. Cakes can be as small as a tea cake that fits in the palm of a child’s hand, or as large as the showstopper cake at the Royal Wedding. From the classic Victoria sponge, with jam and cream, to the saffron cake with its unique, spicy flavour, British cakes span all flavours and textures. Cakes for every occasion are available in the wide variety of bakeries around Britain, whether they’re classic British bakeries, European patisseries that have made their way across the channel, or exotic flavours from the myriad food traditions of the many countries represented in Britain’s diverse population. Everything from Colin the Caterpillar, a favourite children’s birthday cake in the shape of a candy covered creepy crawly to a personalised cake for a birthday, baby shower, or wedding is available. Innovative new chefs, like Daniel Garcia, all across the UK are taking their years of experience in traditional baking and patisserie and turning British baking into one of the most respected culinary cultures in the world.
Finding a cake or a biscuit you love in Britain is a tasty and exciting hunt. No matter what flavours, textures, or decoration you like, there’s something out there for you. Taste your way through a whole host of flavoured macarons, or pop in to a store to be inspired by the range of cakes and goodies on hand. British baking is popular for a reason, and you can get a taste of the action in store or online today.