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Cheltenham Dripper


(Or Lardy Cake, Gloucestershire Dripping Cake)

A form of Lardy Cake made with bread-type layered pastry, associated with Gloucestershire, and Cheltenham in particular. In other parts of England 'Dripping Cake' is a general term for sweet fruit cakes.

Sue Betteridge, the daughter of famous Cheltenham baker Lyndon 'Crusty' Williams, still makes and sells dripping cakes (2015)
Image: http://www.gloucestershireecho.co.uk

Original Receipt from www.thethriftysquirrels.co.uk

For the bread dough
500g (1 lb) strong white bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
15g (1/2oz) butter
7g easy blend yeast
300ml (1/2 pint) lukewarm water

For the filling
90g (3oz) white vegetable fat
60g (2oz) butter
200g (7oz) dried fruits (sultanas, currants etc) – Fruit is optional as drippers were also sold plain – many Cheltonions say that the plain ones are the true Cheltenham drippers but it is a matter of choice!
90g (3oz) light brown sugar

For the tin
30g (1oz) butter
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
Butter a 12" x 9" roasting tin with the butter and sprinkle over the sugar – this gives you a lovely toffee base to the dripper.

For the glaze
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon water

First of all, make the bread dough. put the flour and salt into a large bowl and rub in the butter. Mix in the yeast then add the water, mixing well to bring it all together. Knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and stretchy. Put the dough back in the bowl and cover with oiled clingfilm or a damp tea towel then leave in a warm plce to double in size.
When the dough is ready, knock the air out and knead gently to bring the dough back into a ball. Now, roll out the dough into a largeish rectangle…easier said than done with the stretchy dough but it does go eventually!
Using 1/3rd of the butter and white fat, dot these over the dough before sprinkling on 1/3rd of the sugar and 1/3 of the dried fruits (if using – we often had plain ‘Drippers’ with no fruit when we were younger!) pressing them into the dough a little to stop them falling off during the next stage.
OK, now we’re ready to fold the dough. Fold one end into the middle
then fold the other end over the top of the first – see the picture…it’s so much easier to show rather than tell!
All simple stuff but you now need to do this same procedure twice more so roll the dough out again then add 1/3rd more of the fat, sugar and fruits, roll again and add the last of the mix.
Nearly there now, so just roll out the dough to the size of the tin, place it carefully in the tin, pressing it to fill the tin and cover before leaving it until well risen.
Bake at gas 6 for about 30 minutes until a lovely golden colour. Just before the cake is ready, make the glaze. Put the sugar and water into a small pan and simmer for a couple of minutes before brushing over the cake as soon as it has cooked and comes out of the oven.
Cut the cake into 8 or 12 slices (depending on how greedy you are feeling!) and leave the dripper in the tin for 1 or 2 minutes – no more otherwise the toffee base starts to set and then it can be quite difficult to get the slices out! If you do leave it too long pop the tin back in the oven for 3 or 4 minutes to soften the toffee and it will be easy to get your cake free!

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