Any Time is Right for Fatty Cutties
Orkney is well known for its baking. From Orkney fudge cheesecake, to Stockans Oatcakes made in Stromness, there are a stunning range of delicious treats on these lovely isles.
Fatty Cutties are a bit like a cross between a drop scone and a shortcakey biscuit originating from the Isle of Westray. They are the perfect treat for when that nip comes back min the air just before the Orkney lambing snow in May. It’s an odd surprise for many visitors and newcomers that there is often a spell of snow in May that lasts for a week or so before Spring comes back again and your garden veggies start to grow properly.
6oz caster sugar
15oz plain flour
¼ tsp bicarb
Chop the butter into small cubes, and using a food mixer (Kenwood), cream together with the sugar until well combines.
Add the flour and mix until like breadcrumbs – crumbly dough. Briefly mix in the currants before adding the milk, a little at a time. Add enough milk to make bring the dough together until its smooth and holding together. If the dough is crumbly, add a little more milk a drop at a time.
Knead the dough briefly before rolling out to the thickness of a pound coin. Cut with a knife into rectangles – usual size is 10cm by 4cm, or any shape or size desired.
Put either a griddle or large frying pan over heat source and heat up, cook each fatty cuttie on each side for 4 minutes – or until coloured, handle with care when hot as they break easily.
Enjoy with a cup of tea for an afternoon treat.
If you’d rather come to the Tearoom and try our fatty cutties, why not book a table. There’s a warm welcome waiting for you…
Click to see the menu
A Carrot Cake for Spring
Are you ready for Spring? It always comes a little later for us here in Orkney. Carrot cake is a great cake for this time of year. The cake’s moist texture and delicate flavour pair perfectly with the fresh Spring vibes. Carrots are the cake’s signature ingredient. They add a natural sweetness that makes the cake less heavy and much less overwhelming than chocolate cakes.
For the icing, cream cheese is the perfect match for carrot cake’s sweetness. This cake is perfect for those who love a simple yet classic dessert. To add some pizzazz to your carrot cake, try adding chopped nuts or raisins to the mix before baking. You can also decorate your cake with fondant carrots or some Spring-themed decorations.
200ml Vegetable or sunflower oil
225g light brown soft sugar
225g self raising flour, sifted
250g grated carrots
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the icing…
50g Butter, room temperature
250g Full fat cream cheese
150g Icing sugar, sifted
teaspoon vanilla essence
- Pre-heat oven to Gas 4/180°c, line 2 round 20cm cake tins.
- Put the oil and sugar into a mixing bowl and whisk together.
- Add eggs, one at a time, whisking well between each addition.
- Fold in the flour, baking powder and spices until well combined.
- Add the carrots and mix until just combined. Divide evenly between the 2 tins.
- Bake on the top shelf of the pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes, until firm to the touch. Leave to cool in tins for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack
1. Using a hand held electric whisk, beat butter until soft, gradually add the full fat cream cheese, and beat until smooth
2. Add the icing sugar (all at once, along with the vanilla essence). Beat until thick, creamy and pale
3. Divide the icing between the middle and top of the cake
If you’re looking for a delicious and classic dessert to welcome the Spring season, look no further than carrot cake. It’s moist texture, delicate flavour, and natural sweetness make it the perfect dessert for the season. Whether you enjoy it as a dessert or a snack, carrot cake is sure to be a hit with everyone.
So get baking and enjoy this Springtime favourite!
Not sure you feel like whipping up your own cake, pop over to the tearoom where we serve a range of fresh baked sweet and savoury treats…
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The Brough of Birsay – an Ancient Fortress
Are you a fan of history and archaeology? If so, you’re in for a treat! Just a 10 minute walk from the Tearoom is one of Scotland’s most fascinating historical sites – The Broch of Birsay. This ancient fortress is located on a tidal island on the west coast of Mainland Orkney. From around the 6th century, various groups laid claim to the brough from Christians to Picts and Norse. Archaeological investigations have revealed a wealth of information about the people who once called it home.
What is a Brough?
Broughs (or brochs) are forts. In old Norse the island was called Byrgisey, meaning ‘fort island’ They were built to serve a variety of purposes, including as residences, fortifications, and status symbols.
The Picts & The Norse
The remains of the Pictish settlement include a graveyard and an important beautifully carved stone tablet which is believed to have been a grave marker. There is a replica on site, and the original can be seen at Edinburgh museum. Ther may have been a Pictish church on the site, but this was likely built over when the Norse took over the site. In the 11th and 12th centuries, Birsay was the seat of power and the capital of Orkney. The church of St Peter from that period can still be seen at the site, which was a place of pilgrimage unitl the Middle Ages.
The island is one of the best opportunities to see puffins in Orkney amongst many other colonies of seabirds. The long causeway that leads to the island is a great place to go rockpooling with many rare varieties of sea creatures at the site. A lighthouse was built on the site in 1925. It is a beautiful building in it’s own right, and well worth a visit.
If you’re interested in visiting The Brough of Birsay, there are several things you should keep in mind. The site is open to visitors year-round, but please be aware of the tides. The causway is tidal and if you catch it wrong, you may have an uncomfortable night on the island.
Despite being abandoned for hundreds of years, The Brough of Birsay continues to capture the imagination of visitors and researchers alike. The views from the top of the broch are breathtaking, and it’s easy to imagine what life might have been like for the people who once called this place home.
Want to make sure you have some refreshments after visiting the Brough, why not book a table at the tearoom?…