Thursday, 30 May 2013

Goosnargh Cakes - Forgotten Food for Slow Food Week 2013

Forgotten Foods project (UK Ark of Taste)
I have a number of recipes on that blog that are traditionally "Lancashire" and a couple of them are very popular, so I was delighted to be contacted by Slow Food UK  to take part in their campaign to  create an ark of Forgotten Foods, this highlights foods which have fallen out of favour, the idea of the campaign is to preserve these traditional foods before its too late and they are lost forever and promote our rich regional culinary history.

One such food is Goosnargh cakes (not really a cake at all more of a biscuit) which is  no longer commercially available reliably and is seldom baked locally,  this caraway flavoured crumbly shortbread style biscuit has really fallen out of favour.

Goosnargh is a village just outside Preston and is now probably more famous as the home of fabulous poultry production. I have had a  recipe for Goosnargh cakes on the blog for a couple of years and its now pretty popular especially since being featured in "Visit Lancashire" year book, most traditional Lancashire recipe books have a recipe for the cakes but since being contacted by Slow Food I have actively been searching them out.

I have been lucky, a neighbour who knows I love cooking and baking recently lent me his hand-written family recipe book and low and behold another Goosnargh cake recipe was contained within, this one using coriander powder and a little baking powder, I estimate this dates from the early 1900's .

Here's the link to the earlier post on the blog for Goosnargh cakes with the original recipe.

In celebration of all things Goosnargh cake, here's the new recipe and also a selection of new photographs to tempt you to bake this "forgotten food". 


  • 1/2 lb flour (this will be plain)
  • 6 oz butter (or 5 1/2 oz and small tsp of baking powder)
  • 2 oz sugar
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder or bun seeds (these will be caraway seeds)
  • Rub in and mix to a paste without moisture.
  • Roll out to 1/4 inch thick
  • Cut with a plain round cutter
  • Bake for 15 mins in a moderate oven (top shelf), do not turn them, when cold dust them thickly with castor sugar

I am hoping in some small way that by being involved in the campaign I am doing my bit in ensuring Goosnargh cakes will not be a forgotten food for long. The recipe book is proving a treasure trove of long forgotten delicacies which I will enjoy experimenting with. Slow Food UK have a section on their website called "Cook it or lose it" which is proudly featuring a related post. 

You might also want to consider joining Slow Food UK , follow the link if you want to find out more.


Janet said...

Just made a batch of Goosnargh cakes, I haven't made them for years, here's hoping they taste as good as they look !!! My Grandmother made them and it's her recipe I have used, she lived at Whittingham near Goosnargh and my relations still live and farm in the area.

Dave said...

I had never heard of them before but devouring my second as I type. I love the flavour. My wife took an instant dislike. She bought some from Barton Grange this afternoon. I will be asking for more, or will bake some myself.

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