Thursday, 7 June 2012

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!)

The Face of New World Appliances
You still have until 15th June to enter this challenge and not only show off your Cornish inspired creations, but also get a chance to win £50 worth of Amazon vouchers.

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.

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 this to Javelin Warrior's Made with Love Mondays where all submissions must be made entirely from scratch.

59 comments:

  1. Stunning, just as well I didn't make Cornish Splits for my entry to the Best of British! I couldn't compete - however I have a plan and it should be blogged next week before the deadline!

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    1. Oh goodie Janice, so glad you have a plan. More entries are very much needed.

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  2. Oh boy do those look yummy! Well done on coming up with such a recipe-your neighbours had a treat!

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    1. Thanks GD. Next time I have a tea party, I will be making these rather than scones. Mind you, I do love a good scone, but it's nice to do something a bit more unusual and they were delicious.

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  3. You should be very proud of these, Choc, as they look sensational! Perfect way to celebrate the Jubilee! And I love that you've subbed white chocolate - I know you've mentioned this before, but I still haven't tried it. I really must, as there's heaps of white choc in the cupboard that needs using up. I also have a stash of cocoa butter - I wonder if that would work even better, as it wouldn't upset the sugar balance in a recipe?

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    1. Thanks Celia, I have to confess to being a tincy wincy bit proud ;-) Using white chocolate makes for a nice soft crumb. I would have thought cocoa butter would work fine. I have a feeling Zeb Bakes might have tried using cocoa butter once, but I can't remember what in and what the results were.

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  4. A FABULOUS entry for Tea Time Treats and Best of British and I ADORE Cornish Splits too....I JUST LOVE your chocolate dipped strawberries.....really fab Choclette! :-) Karen

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    1. Thanks Karen. It's really hard to find Cornish splits these day. But know I've made them and realised how easy they are, I shall be baking them again! Dipping the strawberries was much more of a faff than I'd thought. To do it well and more easily you need a big bowl of melted chocolate, but it's not really practical.

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  5. PS: Thanks for the link to the Breast Cancer Care giveaway too....xxxx

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  6. They look fabulous! I love sweet yeasted buns but hadn't really thought to serve them as you would scones for a cream tea. I must try this!

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    1. Scones are delicious and I know you are a fan C, but it's nice to ring the changes and these were delicious too.

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  7. Around 20 years ago I remember being more than a little surprised to be served Cornish splits when I went into a tea room somewhere near Newlyn. But I was quickly persuaded - I just love them. Yours look great and that addition of chocolate sounds fascinating.

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    1. It sounds as though you are one of the rare ones who've actually tried Cornish splits. I've only ever had them at one particular establishment which has now sadly closed! The white chocolate makes for a particularly soft crumb and also gives a subtle vanilla flavour.

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  8. I've never heard of Cornish Splits but would definitely love to try yours as they look so tempting! I've made my entry but haven't had time to blog about it yet but will definitely get to it before the deadline. I'm really excited to share it as I made up my own recipe :)

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    1. Ros it's so hard to get everything posted in time - I often don't manage it and am always trying to catch up and falling further behind! Really looking forward to seeing what you've come up with. The splits were delicious, though I say it myself ;-)

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  9. These look really really good! My hubby has been asking me to make 'Devonshire splits' for a while now,I'm guessing these are the same?

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    1. Not having followed a recipe for these Paula I'm no expert, but I suspect they are very similar. They aren't difficult either, so do give them a go.

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  10. Lovely...I was sold when I got to the baked rolls part, the rest was a bonus, Great recipe, have often devoured them but never made them. x

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    1. Sue, I'm impressed you devoured them. I only know one place that makes them and she's stopped doing her tea room now.

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  11. I'm from the Devon-Cornwall border and have never heard of these! Will definitely be giving them a go.

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    1. Sadly scones have rather taken the limelight over the neglected Cornish split. There's a railway pudding someone has entered for this challenge and I'd not heard of that either. Can you be persuaded to enter?

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  12. Yummy recipe and so easy!
    Have a nice week end

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    1. Thanks Manu - easy and delicious, but sadly not made much anymore.

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  13. I love the idea of replacing some of the butter with white chocolate - Dan is full of such brilliant tips!

    These look absolutely delicious and the perfect tea time treat. Being a Londoner I'm torn over the jam/cream first debate, but if I ever make these I promise to do it the Cornish way!

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    1. Yes, Dan's a real wonder. Your compromise sounds like a good one - hope you do give them a go :)

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  14. I made these once after you suggested them but my recipe turned out more like bread rolls than something sweet so I like the addition of white chocolate in these very much. They looks delicious and I hope you sang Land of Hope and Glory at the top of your lungs ;)

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    1. Oh bother Kath, you know there was no singing - what a missed opportunity. Oh sorry to hear you weren't impressed with Cornish Splits. What recipe did you use? I didn't have one, so found out what I could on the internet and then made it up! The white chocolate makes for a nice soft dough.

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    2. What a shame there was no singing, you could have shown your patriotic side. I think my recipe, which I think was from my Dairy Cookbook (but I could be wrong) was missing the sweet ingredient. I will try to find another one and give them another go. I might just try the white chocolate.

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    3. Kath, the white chocolate works well. This is the 2nd yeasted bun I've tried it in.

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  15. I love yeast cookery but have yet to make Cornish spilts. A real change from scones and something I will try this weekend.

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    1. Oh do let me know how you get on. When it comes to yeast cookery, these really aren't at all complicated.

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  16. Oh wow! this is an absolute treat I would love! I've bookmarked it! : )

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    1. Thank you Vanessa. Do let me know how you get on if you do give these a go.

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  17. What a great recipe, reminds me of something my mum used to make when we were little - the strawberries top them off nicely.

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    1. Thanks Nic, I think the strawberries took longer than the splits!

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  18. Thank you so much for entering this super recipe into TTT! I'd never heard of Cornish Splits before now (and guess what I'll be tucking into as soon as I'm down in the West Country?!)

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    1. Thanks Kate. I'd be very interested to know if you found some.

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  19. Wow. Never heard of Cornish Splits but they look so perfectly up my street. I need these in my kitchen now! The chocolate dipped strawberries is a great idea and makes them proper fancy! ... and didn't you do well entering all those challenges. I feel quite left out! ;0)

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    1. Sorry Dom, need to check out Random Recipes toute suite ;-)

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    1. Thanks Foodycat - they were delicious ;-)

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  21. I love everything about these Cornish splits. Somehow they seem like the perfect foil for clotted cream and strawberry jam. You know I have just returned from the most bizarrely unpredictable weather week I have ever experienced in the South Hams. I didn't even make it to Totnes for lunch at Fat Lemons Cafe. We ran out of days as the weather picked up on the day we were due to go. So, we relied on the local scones and clotted cream. I think I could have done with your Cornish splits to cheer me up on the torrential downpour days! But, I will just have to make them for myself as they sound so wonderful.
    Thanks for entering Simple and in Season too! xx

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    1. Oh Laura, what a shame about the atrocious weather. I'd completely forgotten you were down last week. Cream teas seem like a good way of keeping things going though and you've always got Fat Lemons to look forward to next time. The splits make a very nice change to scones and were delicious in their own right.

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  22. love the sound (and look) of these - the chocolate coated strawberries on top look extra fancy - hope you enjoyed the street party.

    I was surprised to see that the yeasted version came before the bicarb version of "scone". Makes me wonder if it was a great moment when they discovered how quick buns could be with bicarb rather than waiting around for yeast to rise

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    1. The street party was a little odd as I only recognised about two people (apart from the friend's who invited us), yet we walk down that street nearly every day to our plot! I believe bicarb is a relatively recent discovery (ie 19C), so bread would have been around long before scones. You've piqued my interest now and I'll have to find out more.

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  23. Never heard of cornish splits but these look delish. Your method of mixing white chocolate in a yeasted bun sounds interesting (m itching to try this :D).

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    1. One of the main reasons I wanted to make Cornish Splits was to highlight this much neglected Cornish bake. Hope you do give it a whirl :)

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  24. Oh I do love a cornish split...and love the addition of chocolate dipped strawberries - very posh!

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    1. Thanks CC. Sort of figured I'd better do posh as it was for the Queen - in a very round about sort of way!

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  25. You can not get better than chocolate covered strawberries in my opinion! A very indulgent topping so perfect for the celebrations.

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    1. You're so right, those strawberries were exceptionally good!

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  26. Lovely! I think we need to start a Cornish/Devonshire split revival movement.

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    1. Yes indeed, like the sound of that :)

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  27. I've never heard of Cornish splits either...but I've had plenty of Devon ones!!

    They do indeed look delicious and it's so great that you managed to wangle some chocolate into it in two clever ways.

    By the way, when I have a cream tea I always do the Cornish way on one side and the Devon way on the other and I am 'split' over which is better

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    1. Now that is very diplomatic of you Kate - I like it. And where, I'm wondering, do you get Devonshire splits - I've never seen them in a tea shop either?

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  28. Wow a lovely entry for strawberry one ingredient. I never had them but Cornish list with chocolate dipped strawberries sounds wonderful

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  29. ps I really do like the idea of these split cakes. V interesting and never seen them. Am doing roundup post a little belatedly but will link to this x

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    1. Thanks WLM - they make a nice change from scones, although I love scones too!

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