Maids of honour

Forgotten bakes that still have a place in our heart

As The Great British Bake Off turns back the clocks, we help cook up some nostalgia

Forgotten bakes that still have a place in our heart

We'll be transported back in time as contestants on The Great British Bake Off tackle forgotten bakes. 

"The tent goes back in time with forgotten bakes including a signature that's sweet and savoury, a technical tart full of bygone booze and in a feat of Victorian engineering, the most elaborate spun showstoppers the bakers have ever faced," says presenter Sandi Toksvig.

In keeping with the show, we take a trip down memory lane to learn more about the bakes that time forgot. 

Queen cakes

These little dainty bundles of joy date back to the 17th century and closely resemble small sponge cakes which were typically heart-shaped. Back then, flavourings of mace and lemon or almond were used along with a hearty handful of currants. Nowadays many recipes (ours including) miss out the lemon, mace and almond flavouring but still contain the currants - helping make Queen Cakes different to your average fairy cakes. 

Queen cakes

Lardy Cake

The sweet bread dough was traditionally eaten as a snack by workers in the field during the mid-afternoon to help keep their energy levels up. As the name of the creation suggests, Lardy bread is made by layering and rolling a yeast dough with lard, dried fruit and sugar. And despite dating back to the 15th century, where it originated in Wiltshire, it can still be found in bakeries up and down the country. 

Eccles cakes

Eccles cakes - which are actually, technically pastries - were first seen in the town of Eccles at Mr James Birch’s bakery in 1793. These crispy northern treats filled with dried fruit nestled in flaky pastry were traditionally served up alongside slabs of Lancashire cheese. In our recipe, we've used ready-made pastry so they are easier to make. 

Maids of Honour

Popular in the 18th century, these tasty tarts come with a cream cheese and lemon curd filling and look similar in look to a Portuguese tart. It's thought that they were named by King Henry VIII after he discovered the recipe locked away in a chest and passed it onto his second wife, Anne Boleyn who then made them for the King. He then imprisoned his kitchen maid so that she could produce these light as air pastries solely for the royal household.

Maids of Honour tart

Feeling inspired to create some wonderful bakes? Make sure you stock up on everything you need at Asda or pop into your local store