This post is killing 3 birds with one stone.
Its follows the coastal theme for the week, is a Cornish word of the week and also encompasses a recipe!
My mum has been making Heavy cake all my life and it’s not until you move away from Cornwall that you realise that heavy cake is a Cornish recipe of Cornish tradition.
Heavy cake or ‘Hevva’ cake comes from the Pilchard industry when, prior to the 20th century a ‘heur’ (person – generally fisherman’s wife, on a clifftop helping to locate shoals of pilchards) would shout ‘Hevva!’ to signal to the boats the location of the pilchards. It is also said the men would shout Hevva as they pulled the ‘heavy’ nets!
Cornish tradition states that it was the huers who would bake the Hevva cake on returning to their homes with the cake being ready for the crews on their return to land.
Heavy cake is made by rubbing the fat (lard and marg), flour and salt together, adding the sugar and currents and then mixing with milk and water. Then rolled to a thickness of 1/2″ and a criss-cross pattern scored on the top signifying the nets used by the fishermen. Placed on a baking tray and cooked for 30 minutes at 325F.
Here is my mum’s recipe from her old recipe book
8oz plain flour
5oz lard and margarine mixed
3oz currents /sultanas
milk and water to mix
1. Rub lard and marg, flour and salt to a crumbly mix
2. Add sugar and currents /sultanas
3. Mix with milk and water
4. Roll out to 1/2″, score a criss-cross pattern on top and bake for 25 mins at 220C (revised by mum on the phone!)
Wait to cool and have a slice with a cuppa tea. Ansome!
Mum now also makes a wheat free version for Becky which she loves just substituting the flour for wheat free flour. We are also fortunate to bring one of each back to Oxfordshire which we really enjoy. The only problem is when it runs out we have to drive back to Cornwall for another! ha ha!