Hi everyone! Before I start this post I’d like to say sorry about my dismal blogging attempts this last month. I’ve been a bit work-crazy at the minute with the madness that is my dissertation! For the past few weeks I’ve had ‘dissertation tunnel vision’, as any of you who are third years or have written dissertations will understand, so I’ve sort of been neglecting my baking a little. However, I’ve sort of taken the day off so I’m writing up a post I’ve had planned for a while now (and it’s only taken me two months to write it up- sadly not bad for me!).
This post is something a little bit different, so sorry for the lack of recipes lately, but I wanted to try writing a little bakery review. I realise that with many of you being from different counties, or even countries (which still overwhelms me) this may not seem relevant, and the truth is that maybe it’s not. Unless you live near the same area, or can visit it, you may not get to visit the bakery. However, the message behind the post still holds, and I want to encourage people (including myself really) to start visiting bakeries again. I know, as a student writing to predominantly other students, this may seem silly. I can almost hear some of you arguing “but you can get cakes in Asda for way cheaper than proper fancy bakeries”. But hold that thought people. Bakeries don’t have to be expensive. Here’s a prime example- I hope it inspires some of you to check out your local bakeries, and reminds you how nice they can be to visit.
The Cheshire Gap (Macclesfield, Cheshire) is a nice little deli/ bakery mix with reasonable prices and a great selection. It has a huge selection of cakes, biscuits and traybakes to choose from- one of those ones where it takes you half an hour to choose because they all sound so good! We’ve adopted a tactic now in my family where we choose one each with the understanding that we get to try a bit of everyone else’s. To give you an idea of the kind of cakes they have, here’s what we had last time and the prices:
1. I chose a Millionaire’s Fudge Slice- £1.10.
This was amazing- it had a fudgy brownie base, a caramel layer in the middle and a white chocolate topping. Delicious. I thought it was a great play on the traditional millionaire’s shortbread- I really liked it with the fudgy, brownie base as brownies are one of my favourites.
2. My brother chose a Peppermint Slice- 99p.
This was a chocolate flapjack base, a layer of peppermint cream and a milk chocolate topping. I loved this as the minty layer gave a bit of softness between the two textures and it created a more fresh taste that wasn’t too overwhelmingly chocolately (I know I know no such thing but it was a nice flavour kick).
3. My mum chose a Chocolate Truffle Slice- 99p
This is a favourite- I know I’ve had this before and I’m pretty sure either my mum or my brother has too. We’re big brownie fans in our house, so this went down well, as it’s basically a rich brownie with a more truffle-like taste to it.
Unfortunately, my dad and sister weren’t there for this trip (unlucky guys) so those were the only three we got that time. Generally though, from much experience, there are some key factors to bakeries and delis which, for me, are the make or break factors. These are the most important things I look for, and how Cheshire Gap does in these terms:
Selection: Great- there’s always loads to choose from! Spoilt for choice!
Price range: Cheap for a deli (range from 99p-£1.70 for big cake slices)
Portion Size (I can’t be doing with these fancy places with high prices and tiny portions- give me a real slice of cake!): Good- not huge but not small either. A decent size for the price.
Atmosphere/ staff: We’ve always found the staff to be friendly, and it’s a nice place to sit and have a cup of coffee or tea if you were meeting a friend.
Location: Based in the main shopping street of Macclesfield, Cheshire Gap is really easy to find (walk down the hill from Subway and the Body Shop and it’s on your right) and with it being near the shops, it’s a great place to grab lunch or just a cake mid-shop.
Overall, I’d say Cheshire Gap is a great little deli and there’s nothing I’ve had from there that I haven’t liked. They also have a huge range of savoury things you can pick up, with breads, pies and cheeses to name a few. If you want any more info. they have a website, which can be found here. I hope you’ve enjoyed this style of post, let me know if you think it’s helpful or have any questions about the bakery in the comments. I hope to just post the odd one of this style post, for if I’ve found a nice place on holiday, or a local place I think deserves some recognition, or even if I ever treat myself to a really fancy one. But I hope that it’s inspired some of you to go out and discover a local bakery, or even re-discover an old one (or maybe just given you an idea of something to bake!).