Sweet or savoury? Long pigeonholed as a savoury, I cling to the nominal like a shipwrecked soul at sea.
However when met with the glass case of decisions in Keptie Bakery, Arbroath I thought ‘Why not branch out, Fiona, why not give those sweet treats a chance for once?” But alas that would be unfair. To compare and contrast one must have prior experience and, as above, I am ill-equipped in that area. So, alas, I employed the help of my devastated colleagues who undertook the sweeter of treats.
Keptie Bakery is currently crowned the king of fruit scones and is looking to keep their title for a second year running. The scones in question were as moist as you like, with an underlying spice perfectly suited to being eaten straight away or waiting until you get home, slathered with jam. I have it on good authority that the salted caramel cupcakes are more than worth an afternoon tea treat. The airy sponge was topped with a light icing hinting at the warming salted caramel within.
We were also given the opportunity to try an old Arbroath delicacy. The nablab. I have been unable to drum up any specific information about the origins of the name but Keptie Bakery are one of the only places you are able to still purchase the sweet delight. Encased in a solid pastry base and topped with a thin layer of icing the hard exterior houses a sponge with lemon curd. An interesting dip into history it cried out for an extra dollop of jam which would have off-set the slightly dry experience.
My forte! Sizable bridie offerings were at odds with their heavy appearance and the rich beefy flavour was matched perfectly with light, flaky pastry. I admit to only managing half - a sharer, if ever there was one.
Their skirlie pies were similarly well-filled. The pastry was thin and crunchy, offering the ideal textural exchange for the creamy chicken filling. The oatmeal topping however divided opinion. Where I found the thick layer dried the mouth out a little too much, Johnston enjoyed the added consistency.
Keptie Bakery offers a constantly evolving selection of firm favourites and new items, always served with a welcoming smile. So whether you nail your colours to the sweet or savoury mast, there is definitely something for you.