I must apologise profusely for my recent lack of publicised cake consumption. I assure you that I have been trying to keep up my cake eating ways while I have been on my Easter holidays. I arrive at this blog after a week in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and a long weekend of chocolate eating.
I didn’t research Croatian cake before I arrived but instead sought out the cakes that I could find in the old town during my wanderings. A whole week offered up a range of cake experiences and types. The most common thing I found in cafes was two types of cake on offer translated into English; ‘cake’ and ‘pie’. Pie was a firm and shortbready textured sponge cake with fruit sandwiched in the middle. Cake was not cake at all, but more often than not a layered slice of soft soft meringue, mousse and cream. This cake was also on dessert menus in restaurants alongside a Croatian style creme caramel concoction that I didn’t actually try – I have never been overly keen for creme caramel.
Our first cake experience was in Cafe Festival on a rainy day. We had already been here before for the hot chocolate, which was SO tasty. A cup of thick chocolate sauce rather than a drink, it was even served with a spoon. If I have learnt anything about hot chocolate in life, it is that the Europeans do it so much better than us. This rainy afternoon however the other tourists had drunk all the chocolate before us, so we were served instead a tall glass of hot chocolate cocoa with a straw. Feeling immediately like a child we tucked into our choice of cake. I went for a cherry pie and Charlie a ‘festival’ ‘cake’. The cherry pie was a lovely textured sponge, firm in a good way. The perfect middle ground between cake and biscuit with soft juicy cherries squidged into the middle. I would love to know the recipe for that not quite sponge. Charlie’s cake was a creation of chocolate mousse, meringue and cream. The chocolate mousse was the heaviest part! Definitely not a cake in the British sense but a fluffy light taste experience.
Cafe Festival felt to me like a very french cafe, the decor was dark, the staff attentive, the coffee served as espresso’s. The huge bar was stocked with every type of spirit I had and hadn’t heard of. A piano in the corner was played in the evenings. Our next cake spot was rather different. We found, after many days of wondering whether other cake locations existed, the Patisserie Pupo. A much more modern affair of coloured checked tablecloths and retro posters with a glass display of homemade cakes under the till. Here a peach juice was a more suitable cake accompaniment than a luxuriously small cup of melted chocolate. I chose an orange and almond cake, Charlie the apple pie. The orange cake was a traditional sponge cake with a strong orange flavour and a zingy buttercream, decorated with an almond. A moist cake with a good taste, not too strong. Charlie’s apple pie was the Dubrovnik style sponge with grated apple, cinnamon and sultana filling. This again had that difficult to describe firm almost shortbread tasting texture that reminded me of a cake my Grandma used to make me when I was young. I was a little bit jealous.
Finally, we felt we needed to go off piste, or off cafe as it were, and seek out some more casual cake. We needed to discover that truly local joint. We found the Gregg’s of Dubrovnik. I have to admit I can’t remember the name of the shop. We have been sea kayaking and were walking back to the hotel dripping wet and quickly getting colder when we came across a bakery, this was far outside the touristy old town in localsville. We stumbled in and ordered a hotel room picnic of cake and pastry, and the very nice lady inside ignored our soggy state so well you would have thought her British! We ended up with a pastry horse shoe filled with walnut paste and a baklava cake. The pastry was crispy and sweet from the icing sugar, but the walnut filling wasn’t particularly flavoursome. We were very excited by baklava cake; cake + baklava must = awesome? Well it was ok, nice crunchy bits on top but the cake was soaked in syrup so much it was rather soggy. A very sweet cake dripping with sugar syrup, perhaps good for a boost and would have been nice warmed with cream, but not the best cold from a plastic container. Get me a steak bake any day.
No ratings this week. These cakes are not in London so ratings are on holiday like me.
Has anyone else had Croatian cake and found something different?