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LARDY CAKE RECIPE BY TALLYRAND

Oh lardy, lardy lardy!
Every now and again I come across or am reminded of a food, an ingredient or a dish that has my mouth watering, that suddenly reminds of a by gone era or makes me think . . . "God, how can I have forgotton all about this amazing food?"

This week's recipe came to me as I was wandering around a supermarket and I saw all those hot cross buns in the shops for Easter. Kind of a 'EUREKA" moment really - minding my own business and suddenly the light went on . . . Lardy cake! Lardy cake! Lardy cake! So I proceeded to curtail my other shopping and went hunting the ingredients.

Lardy cake comes from Wiltshire, in the south west region of the UK, but there are also similar recipes from other regions. Fourses cake in Sussex, Lardy Johns in Sussex and I am sure there are many more, but the Lardy cake seems to be the most well known.

It is a 'comfort food' and not meant to be something eaten every day - the ingredient that makes it so is the lard. The refined fat of the pig or lard. Sure you could leave it out but then you would just have just another fruit bun or cake. Lardy cake is about lard, lard, lard! So if you are on a diet, watching your cholesterol levels or a vegetarian . . . switch off now! But if you are not sick of the sight of hot cross buns, read on, read on . . . and then take my tip, eat them straight out of the oven!

To find out more about working with yeast <click here>

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Ingredients for Lardy Cake

milk and water mix
300
ml
fresh yeast
20
gm
castor sugar
20
gm
strong flour
500
gm
butter
75
gm
cinnamon
1/2
tsp
mixed spice
1/2
tsp
     
lard
150
gm
castor sugar
100
gm
currants
100
gm
sultanas
100
gm
mixed peel
50
gm

How to make Lardy Cake

  • Warm the milk, water and butter to blood temperature (37°C); it should feel neither warm nor cold when you put your finger in it.
  • Sprinkle in the sugar and yeast and stir to dissolve and disperse
  • Sprinkle in 2/3's to 3/4's of the sieved flour and combine to a light batter: this is known as a 'sponge'
  • Place in a warm place to prove until double its size
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured bench and knead in sufficient flour to form a soft dough
  • Knead for approximately 10 minutes to develop the gluten strands and a soft, elastic dough is obtained
  • Roll out to a large square/rectangle that is approximately1/2 cm thick
  • Spread out the lard evenly
  • Sprinkle with the sugar and fruits
  • Fold in half and roll out to 1/2 cm thick
  • Fold into three (known as a triple fold) and roll out to ½ cm thick
  • Make another triple and roll out to 4 - 5 cm thick
  • Cut into required shapes and sizes, and place onto a lightly greased and floured tray
  • Cover with a damp towel and leave in a warm place until proved to double its size
  • Score the top of each with a criss-cross pattern with a knife, then bake for approximately 30 minutes at 170°C (until well risen and golden brown)
  • Brush with egg-wash and place back in the oven for 2 - 3 minutes to glaze
  • Serve immediately or leave to cool on a wire rack

Chef's Tip for Lardy Cake:

If you cannot purchase fresh yeast, replace with 1 1/2 teaspoons of dried yeast

Do not prove to over double its size or the mix will ruin and the final cakes will have a sour taste to them

I suggest you follow the recipe for your first time and then reduce or increase the amount of lard, fruits, spices and sugar to suit your own tastes

Chef's terminology:

  lt
=
litres   tsp = teaspoon
  ml
=
millelitres   tbs = tablespoon
  kg
=
kilograms   sq = sufficient quantity (add to taste)
  gm
=
grams   pc = piece, meaning a whole one of

Enjoy your Lardy Cake and bon appetit . . . . .

Tallyrand
Recipe from professional
Chef Tallyrand

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