Who needs scones when you can have traditional Cornish splits instead? Soft and slightly sweet yeasted bread buns are the perfect vehicle to load up with jam and cream. Please note, jam first, cream on top!
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 party just up the road and we thought it would be churlish to refuse.
Best of British
As Cornwall is the first (and dare I say best) county in the UK, it’s no surprise that Kernow kicks things off. I am somewhat partisan, I confess – Cornwall is my home after all.
So to the challenge. I am looking for you to showcase something that embodies Cornish food. This could be the good old Cornish pasty, or for those that love fish, Stargazey pie. For those with a sweeter tooth, there is of course saffron cake or how about a good Cornish cream tea? Not forgetting, of course, that the jam goes first with a hefty dollop of clotted cream on the top – unlike the heathen practices of other counties.
Or you may prefer to use some great Cornish ingredients. Famed for its dairy, seafood, vegetables and soft fruit, Cornwall has a wealth of fresh and delicious produce to choose from. Our new potatoes are second to none, our cauliflowers famous and I had my first punnet of local juicy and flavoursome strawberries this weekend.
Everyone knows about clotted cream, but we also have some amazing cheeses, including Cornish Blue, winner of the World Cheese Awards 2010, Yarg, a semi-hard cheese wrapped in stinging nettles, Cornish Camembert, Allet Dairy Goat’s Cheese, Cornish Gouda and the Cornish Crackler, an award winning cheddar.
You still have until 15th June to enter this challenge. It’s not only a chance to show off your Cornish inspired creations, but you can also win £50 worth of Amazon vouchers.
I’m not sure how local chocolate is to Cornwall, but I’ve endeavoured to sneak it in anyway!
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.
Cornish Splits with Jam, Cream & Chocolate Strawberries
So what exactly is a Cornish split? It’s a yeasted almost bread-like bun which pre-dates the Johnny come lately scone as the original receptacle for jam and clotted cream. And I do mean the Cornish cream tea. It’s 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.
Turns out Dan is absolutely right. I’ve used it in many yeasted bakes subsequent to making these Cornish splits and it really works. Just take a look at my Liskeardy cakes.
So this recipe is how I make Cornish splits and like Frank Sinatra, I did it my way.
- Oil your work surface and ease the dough onto it from your bowl. Knead briefly and then gave it the Dan Lepard turn and fold treatment as interpreted by Carl Legge in his folding bread video.
- Return to the bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for thirty minutes.
- Give it another brief knead followed by three turn and folds.
- Return to the bowl, cover and leave to double in size.
- Form into rolls and leave to double in size.
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
As well as the obligatory strawberry jam and clotted cream, I thought some chocolate dipped strawberries would provide a nice finishing touch.
For these, all you need to do is cut strawberries in half and dip the bottoms in melted chocolate. Lay them on greaseproof paper until they’ve set.
Cornish Split Success
The storm abated as we trudged up the hill with the Cornish 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.
Other Cornish Recipes You Might Like
- Cornish fairings (spiced ginger biscuits)
- Hevva cake (aka heavy cake)
- Liskeardy cakes (aka non-lardy cakes)
- Saffron buns
- Vegan saffron buns
- Vegetarian pasties
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make these Cornish splits, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. And do please rate the recipe. Have you any top tips? Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
If you’d like to see some more bread recipes, follow the link and you’ll find I have quite a lot of them. All delicious, of course.
Cornish Splits. PIN IT.
Cornish Splits – The Recipe
- 30 g unsalted butter
- 250 ml milk
- 100 ml water
- 50 g white chocolate (I used Green & Blacks)
- 500 g strong white flour
- 1 tsp of Cornish sea salt
- 2 tsp dried yeast
- 75 g dark chocolate (I used Green & Black’s 72%)
- 12 strawberries
- 24 heaped tsp strawberry jam (homemade if you can)
- 24 heaped tsp clotted cream
- Melt the butter in a pan with the milk and over a low heat.
- Add the white chocolate and leave to melt.
- Place the flour into a bowl with the sea salt and yeast.
- Make a well in the centre and pour in the liquid, ensuring it’s warm but not hot.
- Stir from the inside out until fully incorporated, then leave for 15 minutes.
- Oil a work surface and ease the dough onto it from the bowl. Knead briefly and then give it the Dan Lepard turn and fold treatment as interpreted by Carl Legge in his folding bread video.
- Return to the bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
- Do another brief knead followed by three turn and folds.
- Return to the bowl, cover and leave to double in size.
- Divide into 12 pieces and form into rolls.
- Cover with a tea towel and leave to double in size.
- Bake at 200℃ (400℉, Gas 6) for 15-20 minutes. Tap the bottom of one split to test. If done, it should sound hollow.
- Melt 60g of the chocolate in a bowl suspended over a pan of hot, but not boiling, water.
- When melted, remove from the heat and add the remaining 15g to temper the chocolate. Leave for a few minutes then stir until smooth.
- Cut 12 strawberries in half and spoon chocolate over one side.
- Leave to set then turn them over and spoon chocolate over the other side.
- Allow the splits to cool, then cut them in half and spread with strawberry jam.
- Dollop a spoon of cream on top, then place a chocolate strawberry on top of the cream.
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.
Working London Mummy has chosen strawberries as this month’s One Ingredient, so how could I resist? Nazima co-hosts this monthly challenge with Laura of How to Cook Good Food.
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 my Cornish splits to Javelin Warrior’s Made with Love Mondays where all submissions must be made entirely from scratch.