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5 sweet dishes you would need to know if Bake Off was in the Downton Abbey era

15:29 23 September 2015

Downton Abbey aka Highclere Castle © Dutourdumonde Photography / Shutterstock.com

Downton Abbey aka Highclere Castle © Dutourdumonde Photography / Shutterstock.com


If The Great British Bake Off was taking place at Downton Abbey and Mrs Patmore was one of the judges she would expect bakers to be able to master these 5 bakes, all of which have featured in the show, and be able to serve them to guests at the Abbey. But would the Mary Berry of the early 20th century be a forgiving judge…?

Raspberry meringueRaspberry meringue

Raspberry meringue pudding

Remember the ill-fated raspberry meringue pudding disaster of series one when Mrs Patmore, suffering from bad eyesight caused by cataracts, mistook salt for sugar and served up a rather salty version at the dinner party. Fortunately for her Lord and Lady Grantham are forgiving souls and dispatched off to London to get her eyes fixed. If you want to have a go yourself here is a recipe for a raspberry pavlova – just don’t do a Mrs Patmore and mistake salt for sugar!

Apple charlotteApple charlotte

Apple Charlotte

Apple Charlotte was what Lady Grantham had wanted Mrs Patmore to bake instead of the doomed meringue as it was a favourite of one of their guests, Sir Anthony, a potential suitor for Lady Edith. Moulded puddings were popular in the early 20th century and the mould would be lined with bread, sponge cake or biscuits/cookies, and then filled with a fruit puree or custard. Here is a recipe for a simple apple and pear cake

Victoria spongeVictoria sponge

Victoria sponge

A Victoria sponge sandwich was always a popular choice for tea at Downton and Daisy is often seen putting finishing touches to one. Named after Queen Victoria who enjoyed a slice of it with her afternoon tea it became fashionable in the latter half of the Queen’s reign, the time the dowager countess first came to Downton. Check out this recipe

Crêpe SuzetteCrêpe Suzette

Crêpe Suzette

This classic French dessert of crêpes covered in a beurre Suzette, a sauce of caramelised sugar, butter, and orange juice, was one the unfortunate maid Ethel was desperate to try in Series Two, although Mrs Patmore preferred to give it to the dog than let Ethel sample this delight. The crepes are often served flambéd with an orange liqueur. Rumour has it that that the dessert was invented by accident by a 14-year-old waiter at the Café de Paris in Monte Carlo in 1895. The waiter was about to serve a dish of crêpes to the Prince of Wales (Later Edward VII) when he spilt some orange liqueur and it ignited over the dessert. Fortunately for him his honoured guests enjoyed the new dessert…and no doubt the ladies of Downton enjoyed debating the story’s true origins. For those wanting to create the dish at home here is a recipe

Plum puddingPlum pudding

Plum pudding

Christmas at Downton would not be complete without this festive pudding, although rather confusingly it does not contain plums despite its name as in the 19th century the word plum was used for raisins. Here is a recipe for a traditional Christmas pudding

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