If you are from the UK, you have probably heard the story of the courting cake. This tradition has its roots in Lancashire and back in the past women and men were spending a lot of time separated, as women were working in cotton mills and light industry and the men in mining and heavy industry. So, single men and women could only see each other during Saturdays and Sundays, on promenades, where they would walk up and down and eye up special someone. This promenade was maybe the only opportunity to look out for future partners.
And when the girl met the love of her life, she would bake a cake for him, a token of her love and care. The courting cake. This cake with strawberries or raspberries was the proof of fiancée's baking skills.
This lovely tradition was once again popularized when Prince William and his then fiancée, Kate Middleton had their last pre-nuptial public appearance and were presented with a courting cake.
Image source: food.com
If you would love to follow this old, tasty tradition, here is the recipe!
Makes about 16 slices
225g/8 oz Butter
225g/8 oz Granulated sugar
4 Free-range eggs, lightly beaten
350g/12 oz Self-raising flour
30-45ml/2-3 tbsp Full-fat milk
300ml/10 fl oz Double cream
225g/8 oz Strawberries, sliced
Icing sugar, to decorate
1. Grease and line the bases of three 18 cm (7 inch) round cake tins.
2. Cream the butter and the sugar together until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the flour, then add enough milk to give a soft dropping consistency.
3. Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared tins and bake at 180 C, for 25 - 30 minutes, until well risen and firm to the touch, swapping the position of the top and bottom cakes halfway through cooking. Turn out and leave to cool on a wire rack.
4. Whip the cream until it just holds its shape. Sandwich the cakes together with the cream and the strawberries, reserving a few for decoration. Dredge the top with icing sugar and decorate with the reserved strawberries.