These are old-fashioned cakes that I found in a 1914 cookbook. I thought I’d never tried them before, but after I’d made them and look a bite they were strangely familiar. I think my mum or my aunts must have made them when I was a child. They are delicious and easy to make – especially with frozen pastry to cheat!
Just after I’d tried mine, I stumbled across Jamie Oliver attempting to revive them on ‘Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast’. They had far more variety and tried more modern versions – ones I definitely want to have an attempt! I like the sound of chocolate, apricot, strawberry and brandy & vanilla. Yum!
I used to live near Richmond, but sadly I don’t think I ever discovered this wonderful bakery, ‘The Original Maids of Honour’ , where you can find out more about the history. (Henry VIII is supposed to have named them ‘Maids of Honour’ – they are THAT traditional) and even sample some of Jamie Oliver’s creations. I fancy Apricot myself …
Elin’s Maids of Honour from ‘We That are Left’
Eight teaspoonsful of sugar,
2 oz (60g) ground almonds
Pinch of baking powder
Packet of frozen puff pastry
Beat the sugar and the egg together, then stir in the almonds. Put the baking powder last. Have some patty-pans/muffin tins lined with puff-paste (frozen is fine), lay a teaspoon of raspberry jam at the bottom of each, and cover with a teaspoon of the mixture. (I decorated them with toasted almond flakes, which worked well.)
Bake in a moderate oven - 200C (180C if fan assisted) Gas Mark 6 for about 20 minutes.