Sometimes I get hit by a wave of homesick nostalgia for the UK, it is usually accompanied by a craving for food that I can’t buy easily (or cheaply). Once I’ve had a cup of tea and given myself a good talking to I can either give in or ignore, and since ignoring is just not a long term solution for me I’ve given in, time and time again.
BUT giving in is not as easy as it sounds, now I have to MAKE what I’m craving, no matter how long it takes. If this doesn’t make you think about whether you REALLY want something I don’t know what will!
Last week I was craving a cream tea, yes the one involving scones and clotted cream, like I said, it really does make you consider how much you really want it.
Scones were my nemesis for a while, they always came out as hard little biscuits, not at all appetising but since I discovered Mary Berry’s wonderful recipe I’ve got a 100% success rate. I won’t repeat her recipe, you can find it here. My only advice is to be gentle, you don’t need to mix too vigorously, this may have been where I have been going wrong in the past.
The clotted cream however took a lot longer, I’m not exaggerating, it takes a long time, but, in my opinion it’s totally worth it. So Pinterest told me that it was possible to make clotted cream at home, and though I’d heard no actual real life success stories, I figured it was worth a try. Just to point out that you can occasionally find ‘long life clotted cream’ here but it just really isn’t the same thing and definitely not worth the small fortune shops sell it for.
So all the recipes call for double cream or a cream with a fat content of 40%, which surprise surprise is a little tricky in Germany. The only double cream I could find was Dr Oetkers at 38% in the tiniest pot ever! So I decided to mix it with regular cream of 32% and see what happened.
All the recipes I found said to use a heavy bottomed oven safe pot, which needed to be covered. Since I was only using a small amount of cream I used two jam jars, the clotted cream actually forms on the top so the more surface area you have the more potential for more clotted cream.
The key to clotted cream it seems is patience, lots of patience, with the oven ready at 80 degrees C, the cream went in and stayed there. For the next 12 hours, yes thats right half a day! This is the perfect recipe to make overnight or to put on in the morning and forget about. A warning though that most ovens have an automatic shut off, mine happens at 8 hours, something to watch out for. From 8 hours onwards I checked it every hour and finally decided that at 12 it was as good as it was likely to get. Frustratingly you then have to leave it to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 8 hours, I promise it’s worth it!
As you can see the clotted cream forms a kind of skin of about 1-2cm thick, underneath is cream which is still perfectly usable for cooking, which is what I did with it. The taste is spot on, compared to double cream it tastes sweeter, fresher and thicker, the long life clotted cream is more like butter, this has a proper creamy consistency and taste. Our house is of course divided by the old Devon-Cornwall cream-jam debate but at least we could have that debate, it’s been a while.
And of course no cream tea is complete without a decent cup of proper tea, cracked out the fancy Darjeeling for this one! It took a while to satisfy this particular craving, but it was so worth it.
What do you do to satisfy your cravings?