|Clarks Maple Syrup and Mystery Ingredient Cake|
Cast your mind back to last week. Remember that maple syrup bacon cake? I know the Cappuccino cake was foxy but that bacon cake was a real off-the-wall belter.
I've been casting my mind back, which gets more and more difficult for the last month, or week, or even a matter of hours ago (on the tube going to work recently, I tried to remember what clothes I'd put on that morning. Half way up the Kings Road, it got too much and I had to unbutton my coat a bit to see - you can scoff but it'll come to you) but ten, fifteen years ago? Clear as a bell. So, when Clarks sent me their goody box (Clarks are the master syrupeers remember, not the t-bar sandals brigade), it set me thinking to when I had my first taste of maple syrup.
It certainly didn't make an appearance in the Seventies. For me, that decade was mainly Supermousse (eaten straight from the freezer - I wish I'd looked after me teeth), Carnation on tinned fruit, Angel Delight and Birds custard. Confession - still love Birds custard. Proper yellow stuff and none of that Madagascan vanilla jive that wastes a load of egg yolks. Go on, judge me.
The Eighties? Well I don't recall Maple Syrup showing up then either. Mind you, the Eighties stank. I was sporting a vicious perm so the whiff of Pump 'n' Curl, combined with the ever-present Kouros and Poison were enough to blot out anything you were eating. Cheese spread on toast and Merrydown cider sums up that gastronomic decade for me.
So I reckon, it was my first ever trip to America in the early Nineties, specifically New York, when I got my first Maple Syrup hit. I went to a McDonalds just opposite the Empire State Building and the menu there was a world away from what the Stockport Merseyway branch had on offer. Pancakes, bacon, sweet butter and a UHT milk type thimble sized pot of maple syrup. My head nearly exploded with the combo.
Perhaps I was a late starter (When did you have your first try?) but I loved that smokey quality of maple syrup right from the off.
Anyway, I'm digressing again. Back to business. One of the treats Clarks sent me was their Original Maple Syrup. It's blended with carob fruit syrup so it has, and I quote "a low glycemic ingredient that has, gram per gram, 25% less calories than sugar". Well that's all lovely but it smells and tastes fab. So for this weeks cake, and bearing in mind I'd promised Clarks I'd try out their wares, I made a cake with their Original Maple Syrup as the headline act plus a mystery ingredient challenge as the second billing. I know how to have fun. I have to say, my lovely taster scamps were totally rubbish in the last mystery ingredient cake challenge but I've no room to criticise. I can't remember what clothes I've put on. The cake is pictured here for all to see so have a stab at guessing. If you're too busy looking down to see what clothes you've got on though, come here for a group cuddle.
Full reveal, scores and cake details later. If I remember.
Disclaimer: Like last week, Clarks have not promised me a master syrupeer badge or anything for mentioning their stuff. Mind you, if I could put master syrupeer as my occupation on my passport (replacing astronaut), I'd say anything so be warned.