Cornish Splits – Best of British: Cornwall
Now what could be more perfect for a Cornish cream tea or English tea party than these Cornish splits? A Diamond Jubilee street party was not something we thought we would be attending – we’d planned to use the additional time to catch up down at our plot – but at the last minute we received an invite to a small one up the road and thought it would be churlish to refuse. I’d been planning on baking Cornish splits for my entry into Cornwall’s Best of British challenge, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to make them. I had Cornish sea salt, Cornish strawberry jam, Cornish Strawberries and Cornish clotted cream to use.
So what exactly is a Cornish split? It’s a yeasted bun which pre-dates the Johnny come lately scone as the original receptacle for jam and clotted cream – the Cornish cream tea (jam first every time, whatever they say in Devon).
I had to get chocolate in, of course, now how best to do it? I thought I’d try substituting some of the butter with white chocolate as mentioned by Dan Lepard in his wonderful book Short and Sweet (he’d referred to it as a lard substitute, but what the heck!)
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So this is how I made Cornish splits and like Frank Sinatra, I did it my way!
- Melted 30g unsalted butter in a pan with 250ml milk and 100ml water over a low heat.
- Added 50g white chocolate (G&B) and left to melt.
- Placed 500g strong white flour into a bowl with a scant tsp of Cornish sea salt and 2 tsp dried yeast.
- Made a well in the centre and poured in the liquid, ensuring it was warm but not hot.
- Stirred until all fully incorporated then left for 15 minutes.
- Oiled work surface and eased dough out onto it and kneaded briefly and then gave it the Dan Lepard turn and fold treatment as interpreted by Carl Legge in his folding bread video.
- Returned to the bowl, covered with a tea towel and left to rise for 30 minutes.
- Did another brief knead followed by three turn and folds.
- Returned to the bowl, covered and left to double in size.
- Divided into 12 pieces and formed into rolls.
- Covered with a tea towel and left to double in size.
- Baked at 200C for 16 minutes.
- Melted 60g 72% dark chocolate (G&B cook’s) in a bowl over a pan of hot water.
- When melted added 15g more to temper the chocolate.
- Stirred until smooth.
- Cut 12 strawberries in half and spooned chocolate over one side.
- Left to set then turned them over and spooned chocolate over the other side.
- Allowed splits to cool, then cut them in half & spread with strawberry jam (homemade by a friend with her own Cornish strawberries).
- Dolloped a spoon of cream on top, then placed a chocolate strawberry on top of the cream.
The storm abated as we trudged up the hill with the splits safely ensconced in a weather proof box. The party had migrated under cover and there was little space on the groaning table for my offering. I needn’t have worried as they disappeared really quickly. In fact they were a roaring success. I was particularly pleased when a local farmer’s wife, who has been making them for many years gave them her seal of approval.
The splits were soft and slightly sweet and made the perfect foil for the lashings of jam and cream. The dipped strawberries were perhaps not the most elegant, but when they were perched on top of the cream, they looked just right. All in all, I have to say I was quite proud of my first attempt at Cornish Splits.
I’m also entering this for the fabulous Tea Time Treats table which has a summer fruits theme this month chosen by Kate of What Kate Baked. Karen of Lavender and Lovage is also running a giveaway on her blog to coincide with this month’s theme.
The monthly Simple and in Season hosted by Ren of Fabulicious Food is being guest hosted this month by Laura of How to Cook Good Food. And as Strawberries are very much in season during June, I am sharing my splits with this one too.
Finally (I think), I am also submitting this to Javelin Warrior’s Made with Love Mondays where all submissions must be made entirely from scratch.