There Are No Tarts in Bakewell

Tuesday 5/4/2005

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Diary and Notes

I've come oop North to visit some chums and today I'm staying in the quiet town of Whaley Bridge in the Peak District. The Peaks are (or is I'm not sure which) a beautiful part of Britain, named not after the rolling hills, but after an ancient tribe who lived there back in the days of wode and black and white tv. The area is famous, amongst other things, for the spring town of Buxton and the town of Bakewell, after which the famous cakes are named and will form the majority of today's rant.

I will firstly say that my chums Curtis and Helen laid on an excellent dinner (well Curtis did, although I did see Helen help peel an egg) with a slightly Bulgarian theme. There was a starter of Shopska and a main course of something Curtis's cookbook called Chubritsa, though from my web searches this turns out to be the Bulgarian word for the herb Satureia Hortensis (a form of savory) and not the name of a traditional dish at all. It was however a pretty tasty lamb stew with a variety of herbs and went very well with some french bread (everything goes well with some french bread).

So on to the meat of today's article which isn't about meat at all, but cake - the Bakewell pudding to be exact and no finer pudding could ever exist. Invented around 1860 when an apprentice cake maker got the recipe wrong for a strawberry tart, the Bakewell pudding is a bit like a custard tart with strawberry jam. The pastry is really flakey and they're not overly sweet, so you can always manage an extra piece. A debate rages in the household where I was staying over whether they are better with custard or cream but I prefer mine au naturel (my hosts are so in love with the Bakewell pudding that they had them at their wedding reception). You can eat them either hot or cold and left over for breakfast is excellent.

So what of the Bakewell tart with which we are all so farmiliar? Where do these come from?

The Bakewell tart is the invention of a corporate monster and not a traditional cake at all. The Bakewell tart is not from Bakewell and according to the well respected journal The Rockall Times was invented by a dangerous criminal called Mr Kipling, who is currently wanted for other serious crimes in addition to impuning the good name of Bakewell.

So the next time you are in Sainsbury's and you see some Bakewell tarts, don't buy them. We should boycott these fake products and call for the introduction of the proper Bakewell pudding to the tables of our fair country, and as there is an election looming, why don't we all question the candidates and see where they stand on this most important of issues.

Let's march on Parliament and let our slogan be: Ban the tart - puddings for all.


I think Curtis bought his pudding from the Bakewell Pudding Shop and mighty fine it was too. They even do a postal pudding delivery service if you feel you need to try one of these local delights, have a go, they're a damn sight tastier than a Mr Kipling Bakewell tart.

Cake Blog

I think you may know what today's cake was by now.


  • Shopska
  • Chubrista
  • Bakewell Pudding