Many English pastries have that homely and heart-warming temperament which sets them apart from the deeply refined character of French pastries. And so much the better, for each of these styles has its own identity and fulfils different types of urgent needs, at different times. So it is that, on a lazy morning under a blazing sun, we find ourselves sitting down at Violet’s, a cozy purveyor of sweet treats located in East London. Our thirst quenched, we turn our keen eyes to their unusual Cinnamon Roll.
This pastry is simply composed of a dough rolled on itself in a swirl, and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. The dough is made of organic ingredients.
The Cinnamon Roll by Violet has a diameter of 70 mm and a height of 50 mm. The specimen we purchased weights 110 grams and costs 2.80£.
While the perfume of butter and cinnamon which greets us is familiar for this type of pastry, this one sets itself apart from the common cinnamon roll by the resolutely different texture of its dough. Whereas we are used to a chewy, brioche-like dough, this one is very crumbly, almost as if it were made with semolina. It has a very crisp surface, which gradually gives way to a much more tender inner center –undoubtedly the result of gradual thermal diffusion during the baking process.
This granular feel on the palate, while surprising at first –being rather unexpected and original –soon reveals itself to be quite enjoyable. The dough turns out to be pleasantly low in sugar –somewhat in the manner of a scone –thus allowing the pastry snail to be generously sprinkled with granulated sugar, and thereby adding a crunch felt on the lips. The presence of cinnamon is sufficient without being overpowering.
We are surprised by the Cinnamon Roll offered by Violet, as it has the artisanal and comforting feel which one would expect in this type of establishment, yet at the same time takes one aback with its unusual and highly interesting texture. Though it is, admittedly, somewhat dry, this is atoned for by the fact that it was made with care and manages to pull off a very nice balance in its flavors and in its use of sugar.
Score: 3.8/5 Very good
47 Wilton Way, London E8 3ED
Open Tuesday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm, Saturday from 9.30 am to 6 pm, and Sunday from 9.30 am to 5 pm.
Tel: +44 20 7275 8360