Cooking for Beginners: Quick & Easy Cake Recipes Part III

Wales has been the source of many simple cake recipes and these recipes for chocolate and a miner’s favorite, Tiesen Lap, are no exception. They are produced by rubbing the fat and the flour together (Method 2).

Easy Chocolate Cake (Method 2)

This is a simple traditional Welsh recipe for a classic chocolate cake made with cocoa powder rather than pieces of chocolate.

  • 3½ cups / 1lb / 450g of flour
  • 2 tsp (1/3oz / 10g) of baking soda
  • 1 cup + 1½ tbsp / 9oz / 275ml milk
  • 1 cup / 8oz / 225g caster sugar
  • 8 tbsp / 4oz / 110g lard
  • 3½ tbsp / 2oz / 50g cocoa powder
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F (170°C).

Thoroughly sift together the flour, baking soda and cocoa powder, then cut the fat into small cubes and add it to the flour mixture.

Combine the fat and the flour by rubbing them together between your fingers (you can also use two forks or a pastry blender for this but using your finger gives you a greater sense of involvement and greater satisfaction).

Add the sugar and mix well before adding the milk and egg. Combine thoroughly to form a batter then mix in the vanilla extract.

Transfer the batter to a single well-greased 8” (20cm) round cake tin and bake it in the oven for about 90 minutes at 350°F (170°C).

When ready turn the cake out to cool on a wire rack.

Once cool, the cake can be decorated, if desired, with chocolate frosting over the top and sides. The cake can also be split horizontally into layers and sandwiched together again with chocolate frosting.

Notes

Butter, margarine or shortening can be substituted for the lard. The above is the original Welsh recipe using inexpensive ingredients at the time.

A similar ‘rubbing in’ technique is used to produce crumble topping for pies and puddings.