Who would have thought t
he humble crumpet would have created such a storm online?
So let’s go back to the beginning, shall we? Around February time we decided to change all of our menus, and indeed what we offer as a choice of menus here at the restaurant.
We now offer a 3 course market menu for £30pp, a four course choice menu for £55pp, and our full tasting menu for £75pp. That way when customers visit us they only have 3 price points to think about. And we feel it suits all wallets.
I am getting side tracked. Well, not really, as we now change the menus on the 1st of the month - every month - it really gets our creativity going. So around the 7th of the month myself and Duncan, my sous chef, sit down and start devising the menu for the following month and start tweaking recipes or working out new ones from scratch.
At the beginning of July we decided we wanted to put crumpets on as part of the fish course on August’s menu. Now some would say just get a tried and tested recipe and if it ain’t broke don’t fix it - not us, as we like to try and push not only ourselves but indeed the food and produce that we cook.
I put a quick call in to the mother-in-law and she shared her grandmother’s recipe with me. They tasted great on the first go and we devoured a whole batch between 6 chefs, only for one of the chefs to comment they were a little heavy. Now one of the amazing things about a crumpet for anyone that hasn’t had one before is that they are slightly heavy, chewy, yet full of air and amazingly crispy, and the air holes within the crumpet serve a very important purpose - they soak up an incredible amount of butter. However, as we are serving these as part of the tasting menu we needed them to be a LOT lighter, so we made another batch, this time putting the batter into our iSi cream whipper after first proving the mixture in the fridge for some time.
The result once cooked was incredible; so light, yet chewy at the same time and incredibly crispy - a total success. After the chefs and I patted ourselves on the back for solving the heavy crumpet issue (well, heavy in our minds for what we were going to use them for) I thought I would post a picture on social media.
What transpired was incredible. I have literally hundreds of messages, emails and text messages asking for the recipe - one message regarding a crumpet van that goes around festivals asking if she could buy some pre-made from us to then toast and add her own toppings to, as well as an offer of a meeting with a food developer to try and get them on the shelves of a national supermarket chain. I even had 2 Michelin star chefs message me to ask for the recipe.
Why hadn’t anyone tried this before? Are we the first, surely not? And I suppose that’s what’s amazing about food and ingredients; we can take an 80 year old recipe and modernise it without losing the integrity of the original recipe.
So be creative, re-write the rules and lastly, put yourself out there and be proud of what you achieve, even if it’s only a crumpet.