Piece Of Cake

Sheila Mcclennon samples choice slices of British sweet treats and tells the stories behind them.

Episodes

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01Goosnargh Cake2004080220060807

A type of shortbread containing caraway seeds, this cake was traditionally eaten at religious festivals. McClennon finds out the mysterious origins of the cake and who really had the original recipe.

02Pontefract Cake2004080320060808

As part of her series about the British passion for sweet treats, Radio Four presenter Sheila McLennon visits the historic market town of Pontefract to trace the origins of the famous Pontefract cakes. The area has been known as the liquorice capital of Britain for hundreds of years although it is no longer actually grown there. Sheila joins in the fun at the town's liquorice festival and shares the memories of the people who have made the cakes over the decades.

03Chorley Cake2004080420060809

Sheila McLennon travels to Lancashire to investigate the origins of Chorley cakes. It's believed that they may have originally been developed as "waybread" in Medieval times, the staple food of pilgrims and merchant travellers with their currant or raisin filling and thick pastry on the outside to provide sustaining energy. Now they have found a ready market among the thousands of ramblers who visit the Peak District every year, as Sheila found out, as she heard about their love of Chorley cakes.

04Kendal Mint Cake2004080520060810

Radio Four presenter Sheila McLennon visits the home of the Kendal Mint Cake in the beautiful Lake District.

According to legend a 19th century Kendal confectioner intending to make something else accidentally invented the now world famous cake which many feel is actually more of a sweet.

By the turn of the century, it had acquired an international reputation as an energy-giving food for explorers and mountaineers. Sir Ranulph Fiennes shares his fond memories of expeditions with Sheila and talks about the key role that Kendal Mint Cake played.

05 LASTEccles Cakes20040806

>Sheila visits the Lancashire town of Eccles to taste these sweet currant and pastry cakes. She goes to a nearby factory dedicated to making them literally by the thousands. She also discovers the history behind them and hears about the "Eccles Cakes War" when two rival shops opened opposite each other and each claimed to make the original recipe.

Sheila McLennon samples five choice slices of British sweet treats across the week and tells the little-known stories behind them.

5/5. Eccles Cakes

Sheila visits the Lancashire town of Eccles to taste these sweet currant and pastry cakes. She goes to a nearby factory dedicated to making them literally by the thousands. She also discovers the history behind them and hears about the "Eccles Cakes War" when two rival shops opened opposite each other and each claimed to make the original recipe.