As we welcome a new future King of England, thoughts turn to celebration and what better way to celebrate the birth of a Royal baby than with quintessentially British foods such as Victoria sponge cake! Britain has been much maligned in the past for our simple tastes when it comes to foods but this is changing thanks to our love of baking and cooking in general.
There are so many great British foods to enjoy when celebrating the new King but some of the top contenders have to be the old favourites! So, the next time you’re visiting the UK try one of these local favourites.
Bangers and Mash: This is one of those British meals which is famous throughout the world as being something to enjoy while visiting the country. It may be simple but it’s delicious and the sausages which we’re lucky enough to enjoy in Britain are really top notch. If you’d like to serve up bangers and mash, you can keep it simple with delicious and classic pork sausages from your local butcher, served with piles of buttery mashed potatoes or you can get a little bit posh and choose some speciality sausages such as pork and stilton, garlic and parsley or even those which are flavoured with apples and cider. Add a little pizzazz by serving with caramelised onions and red wine jus!
Fish and Chips
Ah, fish and chips! Everyone adores a beautifully battered piece of fish with some golden, crisp chips. The trick with fish and chips is to avoid soggy at all costs! If you’d like to serve this classic dish, then remember that it’s the details which make the meal a little bit special. Serve your own homemade tartare sauce…it’s not difficult to make and present the meal creatively with a fresh lemon wedge and don’t forget the mushy peas!
Great British Fry Up
The British fry up is a national institution and it isn’t only limited to breakfast time! When isn’t a good time for bacon and eggs? If you’d like to adjust the meal to make it into more of a lunchtime choice, poach or scramble the eggs rather than frying them and add a bed of wilted spinach as a base for the dish. Sautéed mushrooms and tomatoes make a lovely accompaniment to this British classic.
Eton Mess: Eton, the famous public school attended by both Prince William and Prince Harry was the birthplace of this deliciously easy to make dessert and since it has its roots back as far as the 19th century; it’s also a pretty well established pudding! Usually served at sporting events between Eton and Harrow schools, the dessert is perfect for summer as it’s quite light…it’s fabulous after a big plate of fish and chips!
400ml of double cream
4 ready made meringue nests crushed
Puree half of the strawberries and roughly chop the remainder saving four for topping later. Whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks and then mix in the pureed strawberries and the crushed meringue. Fold in the chopped strawberries and portion the mess into chilled glasses. Garnish each dessert with a whole strawberry and serve.
Named for Queen Victoria who is said to have liked a slice with her tea, this Queen of cakes is the delight of many English garden parties, fetes and celebrations in general. It is easy to adjust into variations but the classic Victoria Sponge made with raspberry jam remains a firm favourite.
200g caster sugar
200g soft butter
4 beaten eggs
200g self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk
Cream the butter together with the sugar until it is soft, light in colour and very creamy. Add the beaten eggs in stages, stirring each addition in gently and as you add the last portion, begin to fold in the flour and baking powder. Mix well but do not over-handle. Add the milk stir again and transfer to two greased and lined tins. Bake the cakes one at a time to ensure that they rise equally.
When they have baked for around 20 minutes at gas mark 5/190c remove the cakes and leave to cool for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack for cooling. Once the cakes are completely cool, you can add a layer of jam and cream onto one cake and then pop the “lid” on in the shape of the second cake. Dust with icing sugar over a paper doily tor a pretty pattern.
The British adore food and what better reason to roll out some of our favourite recipes than the birth of a new King?