A delicious vegetarian version of traditional lardy cakes. They contain white chocolate rather than lard which works as a really good substitute. These non-lardy yeasted buns have an additional apple twist, but you can omit this if you’d rather.
One of the few things I miss as a vegetarian is a good lardy cake. Our local bakery BlakesBakery does a particularly good one. Rich with fat, sugar and spicy fruit, it has a crunchy exterior with a lovely doughy interior. When I found out the #TeaTimeTreats theme was for yeast bakery this month, an idea was conceived. I would invent my very own non-lardy, lardy cake using white chocolate instead of lard, my own candied peel and very non traditionally, apples.
This super calorific yeasted bun is traditional to the West Country. As it’s name suggests, the dough is layered with lard, but also sugar, dried fruit and spices. It’s then rolled up and baked. Because the ingredients used to be incredibly expensive, lardy cakes were reserved for festivals and feast days.
Vegetarian Lardy Cakes
Strictly speaking, these vegetarian buns cannot be called lardy cakes as they contain no lard. But, astonishingly, white chocolate has a similar effect to lard when it comes to baking. I have used it on a number of occasions and it works a treat. I reckon these are the nearest vegetarian alternative you can get to traditional lardy cakes.
If you use dairy-free white chocolate, these buns would be completely vegan too. As the chocolate is already quite sweet, I didn’t add any additional sugar to the bakes.
Eaten warm from the oven, this was perhaps the most delicious thing I’d eaten since … oh, I don’t know … the goat’s cheese and caramelised tomato chilli chutney I’d had at lunchtime.
It may not be quite the same product that comes out of our local bakery, but it didn’t look much different and the texture was very similar. However, when CT tried it, he thought it tasted very much like the original and he does claim to be a connoisseur of such things. All things considered, I deem this to be a success and a new bake is born: “Liskeardy Cake”.
As it happened, a few years after I created my non-lardy lardy cakes, the hunt was on for the Liskeard Bun. I did try and tell the notables that there was no need, but it seemed my Liskeardy Cake was not what they were looking for. I ended up judging the entries for the new Liskeard bun, so in the end, I couldn’t submit my recipe.
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you bake these vegetarian lardy cakes, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Have you any top tips? Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
If you’d like even more yeasty recipes, follow the link and you’ll find I have quite a lot of them. All delicious, of course.
Vegetarian Lardy Cakes. PIN IT.
Vegetarian Lardy Cakes – The Recipe
Vegetarian Lardy Cakes – Apple, Raisin and White Chocolate Buns
- 8 oz strong white flour
- 150 ml warm water
- ½ oz fresh yeast
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 100 g white chocolate use dairy-free white chocolate for a vegan version
- 2 oz cooking apple – cored, peeled & grated
- 2 oz raisins
- 1 oz candied peel (I used homemade)
- ½ oz mixed spice
- Melt the white chocolate gently in a bowl resting over a pan of hot, but not boiling water.
- Make the dough by creaming the yeast with the water, then pouring it into the flour and salt. Stir, then add 30g of the melted white chocolate.
- Knead for about 10 minutes, then place in a bowl, cover and leave in a warm place to double in size (about 45 mins).
- Knead the dough briefly, then cut into 4 equal portions. Roll these into rectangles on a floured surface.
- Spread an 1/8 of the remaining chocolate roughly over the bottom two thirds of each rectangle.
- Mix the apple, raisins, peel and spice together in a bowl and spread 1/8 over the white chocolate.
- Fold the top third over then the bottom third over that and seal the sides. Give a quarter turn and roll out to form another rectangle. Repeat the process as above using up all of the white chocolate and fruit mixture.
- Place the dough seem side down in a greased 8″ square tin (I use a silicone mould). Cover and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in volume (about 30 minutes).
- Brush the tops with sunflower oil and sprinkle lightly with caster sugar (I used vanilla sugar). Bake at 200℃ (400℉, Gas 6) for about 25 minutes, when the tops should be brown and the bottoms sound hollow when tapped.
As these were inspired by our local bakery and I bought the yeast from them, I am using that as my random local ingredient for this month’s Random Recipes over at Belleau Kitchen.
Not only are these made from scratch, but also a completely original idea (I like to think), so I am submitting these to Javelin Warrior’s Made with Love Mondays.