A West Country speciality traditionally made by putting rich, creamy milk into wide shallow pans and cooking it over a gentle heat so that the cream rises to the top and forms a thick, wrinkled, yellow crust. It is so thick you cannot pour it and has a distinctive cooked taste which is quite delicious.
Rodda's is the largest commercial producer of clotted cream and has the status of Protected Designation of Origin by the EU. This means it has to be made with Cornish milk and have a fat content of at least 55%. Cornish grass apparently has higher carotene levels which produces a yellower cream than Devon clotted cream.
Rodda's is, I think, available countrywide. I can easily buy it in supermarkets in Worcester. However, in Cornish supermarkets you can buy it in 1lb tubs rather than the little tubs we get elsewhere.
Clotted cream is similar to the Middle Eastern buffalo cream kaymak. There is a theory that two thousand years ago Phoenician traders looking for tin came to Cornwall and passed on the method for making thick cream to the Cornish.
I brought a tub home with me to put in a birthday cake. George had requested a Victoria sponge filled with jam and cream. Clotted cream is traditionally eaten with jam and scones as part of a cream tea. I'm always a little disappointed with the jam in a cream tea. It is often cheap commercial jam, stiff and lacking in fruit. I've used homemade blackcurrant jam in George's cake which is, of course, much nicer.
This cake is by no means my original recipe but as I am running out of month it will have to be my July Cake of the Month.
Easy All-In-One Sponge Cake
Mix all the following ingredients together well
8 oz (225g) self-raising flour
8 oz caster sugar
8 oz soft butter
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)
Divide mixture between two 8 inch (22cm) loose bottomed sandwich tins which you have greased and base-lined.
Bake for 25 minutes at 180°c (160°c fan oven) until well risen and golden. The cake should spring back when pressed with a finger.
When cool spread one cake liberally with good quality jam (strawberry, raspberry or blackcurrant are good but use what you like. Lemon curd is a delicious possibility).
Spread cream generously on top of the jam. Clotted cream is fabulous but whipped double (heavy) cream will be wonderful too.
Top with the second cake and dive in.