Tuesday, January 13, 2009

#104 Wiltshire Lardy Cake

I’ve heard of the lardy cake and once saw someone making one on telly. I remember thinking that it looked pretty marvellous. For those of you that have never heard of lardy cakes, they’re basically a sweet sticky bun, but instead of enriching it with butter, lard is used; it’s layered along with sugar and mixed fruit through white bread dough. These ingredients meld together to make a moist, sticky and very rich teatime treat. It is quite possibly the least healthy thing I’ve ever cooked, and Jane Grigson reckons it’s on the “skinny side”!

Start off by making some bread dough using a pound of flour (follow this method if you don’t have your own recipe, but adjust amounts accordingly). Whilst you’re waiting for it to rise, measure out 6 ounces of lard and chop it up, 6 ounces of mixed dried fruit, 2 ounces of mixed peel and 6 ounces of granulated sugar. Once the dough had risen, and you’ve knocked it back, roll it out into a long oblong and spread the first two thirds of it with a third of the lard, fruit, peel and sugar. Fold this into thirds and press or tuck the ends under, give it quarter turn and roll out the dough again. Repeat this process two more times so that all the fruit and sugar are used up. Place the rolled up dough in a large tin that is oblong or square in shape and let the dough prove. Bake for 35-45 minutes at 220ºC. Turn it out onto a plate so that the sticky side is facing up and so that the lard can soak through the bread. Serve warm or cold.

#104 Wiltshire Lardy Cake – difficult to score this one; we tried it warm and it’s either 9/10 or 2/10. It’s tastes really sweet and is beautifully sticky with lovely plump juicy raisins, but has the bizarre savoury meatiness of the lard. I think if I were to cook it again, it would have to be even more skinny than Griggers’ measurements. However, once it was cool, it did taste less, er, meaty. Give it a go – easy and cheap to make, so I think I’ll go with a final score of 7/10.

9 comments:

butters said...

7/10 (although i must agree with butters 1 on the difficulty to score) phew, not for the dieters out there. I enjoyed the sticky yet crunchy texture to this and the raisins were sweet and lovely. The meaty taste was something to think about and definitely a new sensation for a novice Grigson eater such as myself. It was practically a meal in one, very filling, very satisfying, try it !

Simon and Rach said...

Sounds like the kind of thing I´d love. In Budapest they put pork fat in their cakes- the coffee and cake cafes are very popular there but I can´t say that they actually taste meaty.

Neil B said...

well Seggy, when you get back I'll make you one...

purejuice said...

i am awed by your enterprise as well as your willingness to eat things you've never really eaten before. you are a true gourmet.

Neil B said...

ta purejuice - i'm not looking forward to some of them though....

Andy said...

Being of Wiltshire stock (Wiltshire-born and Wiltshire-breed, strong in the arm and good in bed ;-) ) the lardy cake was always a treat growing up.

I've not had one in years, might have to pop into the local bakers at the weekend and pick on up.

Neil B said...

Hi Andy

I love lardy cake now, and after playing about the recipe, I have brought it back to life on my stall. It has been a success thus far, though some do find it a bit too, er, piggy!

Jon Germany said...

I found that to get the real sticky texture and taste of the original Lardy cake used fresh pork lard/dripping you get from a butcher (not the blocks in supermarkets) this has a white creamy'ish texture and when it mixes with the demerera sugar etc in the cake during cooking turns into a sticky caramel mixture. once cooked it should be removed from oven & turned upside down in its tin so the sticky lard soaks back down through the top which stays dry if you don't up end it before it cools.

Neil B said...

Cheers for the tip, Jon. As it happens, I recently rendered my own lard so I'll give it a go!