Throughout June, Cambridgeshire Archives led a social media campaign; the ‘Great Archives Bake Off’, inviting us to try out recipes from archive collections. Archives services in Wales took part and here are a few of the recipes tried and tested.

Amanda Sweet, Anglesey Archives: ‘I have chosen a recipe from a note book belonging to John Elias Jones of Bodelffra in Rhosgoch from [c. 1889]. Entitled “Sir Watkin Pudding” I can only think that this pudding was name after Sir Watkin Williams Wynn who died in 1885.

The pudding was delicious, soft sweet and lemony and reminded me of suet puddings I had in primary school in the early 70s’

Vicky Jones, ARCW Project and Training Manger: I used the National Library of Wales Newspapers Online site to search for a recipe. The search can be narrowed down by date, so I chose a family members birthday and searched for ‘chocolate’. The following recipe for Chocolate Cake is from the ‘Brecon County Times Neath Gazette and General Advertiser for the Counties of Brecon Carmarthen Radnor Monmouth Glamorgan Cardigan Montgomery Hereford’ (February 1919).

Attribution Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cynru – National Library of Wales

It is a fairly straightforward recipe, and it was going well until I realised that one egg isn’t nearly enough for the amount of dry ingredients. Despite adding a huge splash of milk it ended up looking – and tasting – like a chocolate coloured brick! The ‘cold boiled custard’ added a sweetness that was much appreciated… I ended up finishing the custard on its own.

Sarah Thompson, Richard Burton Archives: A Dreamy Cocktail Flan (From the South Wales Coalfield Collection at the Richard Burton Archives. ‘A recipe to tempt a hungry man’ from the ‘Our Women’s Page’ of ‘The Miner’ magazine was the source of the Great Archive Bake Off entry.

November 1965 edition of ‘The Miner’ magazine (reference: SWCC/MND/9/3/1/5) 

This effortless bake can be conjured up in 3 easy stages with relatively little effort using the exotic and exciting ingredients in the first image below. Next the preparation: Tip fruit out of tin, activate the quick gel, pour in flan case. Finally adding ‘Dream Topping’ for decoration. And, voila, one dreamy fruit cocktail flan to tempt even the hungriest miner! (With added blueberries, to give the recipe a more 21st century taste and some nutritional value!)

You can see more from those who took part by searching for #GreatArchiveBakeOff on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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