A cake named Joan …


Bakewell is to be found in Derbyshire as well as in the name of a celebrated jam filled, almond flavoured confection but, for me, Bakewell will forever be associated with crumpets. Joan Bakewell is an English journalist,  television presenter and Labour Party Peer who, being both highly intelligent and beautiful, was christened by the Press, of another time, as ” the thinking man’s crumpet”. I like crumpets, cogito ergo sum and I’m a man which combination makes Bakewell irresistible. The dangers of sugar are as nothing when compared with the wrath of those who, today, would consider such a soubriquet as deeply denigrating, so I will stay on the side of the angels and speak sweetly. The Bakewell of which I now speak would be too sweet for words were it not for the tartness of raspberries that gently brings it to heel just before your teeth start to drop out. The baker’s art owes a great deal to appearance but, as if to confirm the truth in the caveat to not judge a book by its cover, disappointment so often waits just below the thin ice of the sugar coating. Having not resisted temptation and broken the ice we are, on occasion, confronted by the soullessness of poor cake that fills the mouth with the dusty crumbs of anonymity which, in an instant, seem to suck up and absorb all the moisture that was ever in our mouths leaving us like thirst crazed legionnaires crawling on our bellies to an oasis on the horizon that is but a mirage. I had suffered this disappointment, as a child, from the commercial variety of the cake called Joan. At the time, any break from gruel was welcome, but the residual disillusionment, even though trusted friends had assured me that the recipe when made correctly was a cut above toothsome, made me circumspect of purposely recreating an example of that which had once been so disagreeable. In conclusion, I came, I baked and I came again…and again.


Recipe below by Mary Cadogan.




About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in 2014, Almonds, Angels, Art photography, Bakewell Tart, Bakewell Tart, Baking, Childhood, Cookery Writers, Cooking, desserts, Digital photography, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, Humour, Illusion, Mary Cadogan, Nuts, Recipes, Sex, Sugar, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to A cake named Joan …

  1. That is the best looking bakewell tart I’ve ever seen.

  2. Some crumpets are altogether too sensitive, to be called a crumpet is a complement if it means one is as lovely and sweet as this Bakewell;) xx

  3. Mad Dog says:

    You’ll get an oscar for that one 😉

  4. Well, there you go – I’ve had a many bake well tart in my time, but had no idea I should really be addressing it as Joan!:)

  5. Francesca says:

    It looks indeed very toothsome and not at all dry.

  6. Oh Lord, please help me to keep me away from your devilish posts!!!

  7. Angeline M says:

    I shall ask for Joan the next time I go for tea. A lot of tea, to prevent crawling on my belly towards the mirage of an oasis. And what fun would that be? So I should go in search of a Blakewell I assume.

  8. Ignorance must be bliss because I had thought myself quite happy until I came across this post tonight. Prior to this evening, I’m afraid I must confess I’d never heard of either version of the Bakewell. I am now filled with such longing that I don’t believe it will diminish until I try this concoction.

  9. Sven says:

    That looks awesome!

  10. So clever Mr Stowell – both the words and the tart. You lead us all into temptation and now I am sidetracked into thinking about crumpets which led me down the rocky road to thoughts of Carry On films!

    • That’s very kind of you and I truly appreciate the nomination. I have to tell you that I neither accept nor nominate awards so I won’t be taking you up on your kind offer…thanks again for the offer and thanks for the visit:)

  11. As always your posts brighten up my morning commute but those cherries glistening are superb! Looks like a great tart!

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