It’s funny to think that despite the UK’s distinct lack of culinary prowess, (all we really have is the roast dinner and fish and chips, the latter was even a Portuguese introduction), London still stands at the forefront of Michelin star dining and hosts some of the best high street restaurants in the world. The reason for this is that London is such a multicultural city, and whilst we might not have any of our own original dishes, other countries who move here really do.
Whilst hot meals might not be our thing, there is a type of food we have always been great at. That’s the dessert. Desserts and baked goods have always been a speciality of the British. With historic desserts and cakes named after queens, we are great at the tea time treats. Below are some of our favourite desserts, all of which you’ll catch around London and in the tea rooms of the Grand Royale London Hyde Park Hotel.
This historic British dessert dates back to the 16th century and has been used as a seasonal and summertime dessert for hundreds of years. Made up of several layers, the English trifle consists of sherry soaked sponge fingers, whipped cream, custard and fruit flavoured jelly. There are a range of variations on these as well as changing ingredients such as gelatin, which became widely used in the 1700’s. The first mention of a trifle came from a cookbook in 1585 by Thomas Dawson named “The good huswifes Jewell,” proving trifles to be one of the oldest puddings still being made today.
Named for its crumbling, chaotic look, eton mess consists of crushed meringue, forest fruits and whipped cream. Dating back to the 1930’s Eton Mess got its name for its serving at the school canteen of Eton College, one of the most prestigious boarding schools in the country. With the privilege of being served such delicious desserts on their break times, you can see why many members of Eton went on to such great things.
Named after the 19th century queen, Victoria sponge cake is a spongy cake with a layer of jam and cream through the middle. This keeps it moist and gives the soft sponge a tart kick, making it the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea.
Jam Roly Poly
Similar to a swiss roll but made with jam, this spongey suet pudding is made flat and then rolled through jam making it as gorgeous looking as it is delicious. Dating back to the 19th century, the roly poly pudding has become a national favourite.
Spotted dick is made with suet, currants, raisins and custard and has been the source of much amusement since its creation in the 19th century. Dating back to 1892, it was known to be served up to dockworkers in London on a daily basis. It is still one of the most unique British puddings being served up today and is now served the world over.
Sticky toffee pudding
First created in the Lake District by chefs Francis Coulson and Robert Lee, sticky toffee pudding is one of the most popular desserts for Brits all year round. Consisting of a thick chocolate sponge doused in thick toffee sauce, this moist and filling dessert can be found on restaurant menus and in supermarket aisles alike.