Friday, 24 June 2011


Barcelona, Im in love and I am not sure if I can ever leave you. To be honest I've been a little quiet the last couple of weeks due to Sonar and various other fiestas in the city. This Thursday was a big celebration for midsummer in Catalonia. San Juan fiesta celebrates the summer soultice and 'second easter'.

Traditionally this cake is eaten in Catalonia, Coca de Llardons. Im at first unsure what this is going to taste like, pork cracking and lard with pine nuts, aniseed and sugar....??? HUH?

So I've never tried this 'cake' but I see it in all the bakeries and supermarkets here at this time. My flatmate suggested I try making this as its traditional for this time of year. All I can say is its weird.... pork crackling, lard, very little sugar compared to the flour and pork items.. It has yeast in it and I leave it to sit over night before baking so its almost like a bread more than a cake.

400g Self raising flour
100g water
100g full fat milk at room temperature
100g sugar
150g lard
175g pork crackling
5g salt
1 tsp ground aniseed
20g fresh yeast
50g pinenuts

Combine the water and milk, add sugar then flour & the yeast. Mix until combined and then knead the mixture over a lightly floured surface until no longer sticky. Add the lard and salt, pop it back in to a bowl to mix together as it will become wetter and sticky again. Mix well.

Finely crush the pork crackling, we had this from a packet available in the supermarket here in Barcelona. Its like aged, dry pork fat, not the tasty tasty crackling you get when you roast the pork at Christmas. It was a sort of humid like jerky, really unappealing to touch. Once the crackling is crushed up add it to the mixture along with the aniseed grain and mix well. Form a ball, remove from the bowl and place on floured tray again. Cover with a tea towel and leave for 30 minutes.

Take a baking tray to fit your oven, line with a baking sheet. After 30 minutes stretch the mixture out to form a rectangle shape on your baking tray. Cover and leave over night on the bench.

The next day pre heat the oven to 180c. Sprinkle additional sugar and pine nuts on top and pop in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden.

Okay so, I've tried it... according to my flat mate this is how its meant to taste so a big tick there. The consistency is like bread, the flavour is, well, porky and I can't get past thinking about what I put in it.  I kind of wish I didn't know what was in it. But judging by the lines of people at the bakery across the road, lining up to buy this cake it must be popular.

So there you have it, an interesting experiment in Catalan cooking. I think I'm in need of something sweet and chocolatey now, off to make some good old Red Velvet cupcakes.



Dead Sea Salts said...

This looks like an amazing dish! To make it even more flavorful, you can use a gourmet salt in this recipe rather than the regular table salt.

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