Homemade saffron cake at The Headland Hotel.

Recipe from the Chef: Piran’s Posh Saffron Cake

Recipe from the Chef: Posh for Piran’s saffron cake pain perdu, Cornish clotted cream and grue de cocoa.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients for a small cake:

1 good pinch of saffron

70gm milk

250gm plain flour

A good pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Zest of lemon, about a quarter

1/4tsp dried yeast

Good pinch of salt

125gm cold, cubed butter

125gm caster sugar

150gm currants, reconstituted in boiling water and a little vanilla

Method:

  • Grease a small loaf tin with a little extra butter
  • Heat the saffron and the milk in a pan until infused and coloured
  • Stir the flour, yeast, salt, nutmeg and lemon zest in a bowl until mixed well
  • Using extra flour for dusting, knead the dough until smooth on a floured work surface
  • Put in the greased tin and cover with a warm damp cloth until risen, approximately 30 min
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/Gas mark 4
  • Bake the cake for 30-40 minutes until risen and browned
  • Cool somewhat, then transfer from the tin to a cooling rack
  • Cut into the uniform ‘soldier’ sizes, approx. 10 cm x 3cm

For the rest:

A few tbsp of grue de cocoa nibs

Pieces or shavings of dark chocolate

Simple sugar syrup with saffron

Cornish clotted cream

Coriander cress or similar, stick with a flavour that works

Well beaten eggs, 3

Sunflower oil

To Serve:

Soak the French toast ‘soldiers’ in the beaten egg and fry in a non-stick pan with a little sunflower oil until browned. Finish in a hot oven for 3-4 minutes.

Arrange on plates and garnish with the grue de cocoa, (dark chocolate nibs) shaved chocolate, coriander cress and a drizzle of the saffron syrup. Using a hot, dry spoon…Rocher, (one hand quenelle) the clotted cream for a slick, ‘cheffy’ effect. Get practising on this one!

As a chef, you’re always re-assessing/editing any new creation. I’m already considering adding a few reserved reconstituted currants and/or a few sultana gel blobs…recipes flex, dishes are fluid… get creative and put your own spins on a posh St. Piran’s dish!

And if you’re not feeling creative yourself, don’t forget that you can try this dish on St Piran’s Day, 5th March 2019, in the Samphire Restaurant at The Headland – just call 01637 872211 to book a table!