By: Mrs Robot
The weather here was truly dreadful yesterday, so I decided to do some baking. I've had my eye on the recipe for raspberry buns in Julie Duff's book Cakes: Regional and Traditional for some time. Here at the House of Robots, things involving flour, pastry in particular, seem to be my thing. Another thing I love is old cookbooks and recipes.
Cakes: Regional and Traditional is a brilliant compilation of historic cake recipes from around the UK. Duff has done a massive amount of research for this book. The recipes are split into five sections - Small Regional Cakes, Large Regional Cakes, Small Country Cakes, Large Regional Cakes and Gingerbreads and Ginger Cakes. Yes, ginger was once so popular every region had its own variation so gingery bakes get a whole chapter to themselves. Where possible she tells you the region the recipe is from. There are six different apple cakes, for example, all with variations in their ingredients according to what was available and liked locally, from the Irish recipe involving mashed potato to the West Country one with spices (possibly a legacy of the area's major ports, including Bristol) to a Yorkshire one made with Wensleydale cheese. Raspberry buns are a 'country cake', assigned to no particular region, and Duff states the recipe she's reproduced comes from a cookbook handwritten in 1923 by a lady named Ivy Peatman.
I think when I make this recipe again I'll make two variations. I'll add a drop of almond essence to the mixture, as I think it would be delicious with the raspberry jam. Also, instead of making a little ball and popping a lump of jam into the centre, I'll make two discs and spread the jam across one, leaving space at the edge to seal the discs together, because in my buns the jam tended to stay in a blob in the centre, and I'd prefer the jam to be more spread out across the cake.