As some of you may know, I hail from Arbroath on the east coast of
|Declaration of Arbroath|
It’s a small fishing town situated about 17 miles north of it’s nearest city Dundee. It’s famous for a couple of things, one being the Declaration of Arbroath, a declaration of Scottish independence signed in the imposing Arbroath Abbey in 1320.
Scotland is no longer an
independent country, but the Abbey still remains there to this day. The ruins
of the huge sandstone building are a large tourist attraction for visitors to
Arbroath is also famous for Arbroath Smokies. Smokies are hot-smoked haddocks, which originated in a small village three miles north of Arbroath called Auchmithie. Legend has it that a fire broke out back in the 19th century where someone was preserving their fish in barrels. Out of the ashes came this delicious tasting fish, smoked and cooked due to the heat, ready to be eaten. The process today sees haddocks dry salted, which preps the skin for the smoking process. This then takes place over a barrel, with hessian controlling the amount of heat.
It is quite an involved process and for more information about it I
would recommend visiting arbroathsmokies.net.
Arbroath Smokies are actually protected under European Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) which means that only Smokies made within a 5-mile radius of Arbroath can call themselves ‘Arbroath Smokies’, exactly the same as Champagne can only be made in that region of France or Parma Ham can only come from that part of Italy.
I am lucky enough to have grown up where these delicious fish are made and often eat them. I can tell you they are like nothing else you will have tasted. The smoky flavour imparted into the meat of the fish is beyond words.
I decided to incorporate Arbroath Smokies into a recipe here on Cakeyboi and actually came up with this a couple of years ago. However, I never got round to posting it until now.
My creation is the Arbroath Smokie Cupcake. Don’t worry, this is not a sweet cupcake, which would not be pleasant at all (although a local ice-cream shop did come up with a smokie flavour frozen confection once!). These are very much a savoury treat. A little baked ‘cupcake’ filled with the smoked fish in question and some strong cheddar cheese to compliment the flavour. I also add chive for a bit of freshness. To top things off, I add a swirl of a savoury cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with some more chopped chives.
To serve, the Arbroath Smokie Cupcakes are best eaten warm. They are much more tender that way and the cream cheese on top melts a little, adding some delicious moistness.
I would definitely eat these as a starter at a dinner party or as a snack, when you are in the mood for something savoury. I have even been told they would be delicious for breakfast!
The cupcakes will keep in a fridge, in an airtight container for a few days, but they will not last that long – believe me!
Arbroath Smokies can be ordered online from arbroathsmokies.net.
Here’s how I made them…
I am entering these cupcakes into this month's Simply Eggcellent hosted by Dom at Belleau Kitchen. The theme this month is 'Savoury' and these cupcakes are most certainly that.
I am also entering them into Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary's Shop Local challenge as I bought my Arbroath Smokies locally.