Give Me A London Girl Every Time…
The MoFo theme for today was to celebrate your favourite city. So here is my culinary tribute to my favourite city, London. I was born and spent my first couple of decades in London, South London to be precise. I know it might seem an odd choice when there are other places I have visited and loved (LA and Seville would definitely be strong contenders). But I can’t help myself. My hometown wins hands down. Even though I have lived in Essex for a long time, I cannot help but think of myself as a Londoner.
Given London’s amazing multicultural, multinational population, it is no surprise that the food you find in London reflects this. Given my own cultural heritage, I could have written a post about the 24 hour Brick Lane beigel shop (maybe one day I will!) or given my love of Middle Eastern cuisine, I could have written about the fabulous Green Valley food hall and deli just off the Edgeware Road. Instead I have chosen to write about Tottenham Cake.
When I was growing up, my Auntie Maureen used to make a sponge cake that was a massive rectangle rather than round, covered in glorious bright pink icing and dessicated coconut. In my family we just called this cake ‘pink sponge’ but having done a bit of research, I think what my auntie was making was probably her version of Tottenham Cake. I was fascinated to learn the history of this pink sponge. The cake was originally sold by the baker Henry Chalkley who was a Quaker, at the price of one penny (in old money), any smaller misshaped pieces sold for a half penny. The pink colouring came from mulberries found growing at the Tottenham Friends burial ground. Not only that, it is associated with my football team as in 1901 the cake was given away free to local children when Spurs one the FA Cup for the first time.
For my version, I used this vegan tray bake recipe to get the quantities right:
I just left out the raspberries and iced the cake with pink coloured icing. I didn’t have any mulberries to hand but I did have some raspberries so I used the juice from those. My daughter, who helped ice the cake isn’t a fan of coconut so she insisted on sprinkles! Our icing was a bit less lurid than most versions but still attractive I think!
This is my last post of the MoFo this year so thank you all for following and commenting. It has been great fun. I am hoping to be posting more over the coming months so look forward to your further support.
I’ll leave you with my fellow Spurs supporters and musical geniuses Chas and Dave!