March 31, 2010

Cream Horn Bakeoff

Cream hornI I absolutey love retro pastries. Shortbread, Vanilla Slice, Rock Cakes...mmm. But they're so hard to find nowadays. Take the Cream Horn for instance. It's rarely on offer in bakeries any more, yet brings back childhood memories for so many Australians. What is a Cream Horn you might ask? It's a flaky horn shaped pastry filled with mock or real cream. I've been told mock is the only way to go.

Most of the people in my office are nuts for them. One colleague in particular is an expert on traditional cakes, having ingested many a scone and cake from the Country Women's Association and been to cake making competitions all around Australia. Naturally she has sourced THE perfect Cream Horn. It's only available on order from a secret bakery in Western Sydney.

Then last week I was flicking through Masterchef winner Julie Goodwin's cookbook and discovered it was chock full of all those classic recipes from Nan's kitchen. So when I noticed a recipe for the old Cream Horn with Mock Cream I knew we needed to have a taste test. A Cream Horn bake off. Bought ones vs mine.

The verdict?

I'd say it was a tie. The bought horns were enormous and very flaky with mounds of fake cream.
cream horn 3
My horns - as you can see in  the pictures were quite small. To make them I hade to purchase special cone shaped molds. The idea is to drape and then twirl puff pastry around the cone, bake it, fabricate some mock cream, then fill em up with a strip of strawberry jam and the faux cream. Being a bit time poor I opted to make the horns the night before and store them in airtight containers. Big mistake. There's no such thing as airtight. They were still nice but not as good as when they first came out of the oven.

My colleagues though, to my surprise, loved them. Raved about them in fact. I was quite surprised at their reaction. I was a bit meh. But then again I felt that way about the horns from the start, I'd rather a Rock Cake any day. The fun part was to see which tasted nicer.
It's a tie.
cream horn 2

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