Lardy Cake and Rupert Campbell-Black. A strange combination – yet they have something in common. Both you want oh so very much, but you absolutely know that neither will do your health – or your heart – any good whatsoever.
Yes, I’m talking Riders by Jilly Cooper, which is where Rupert Campbell-Black first makes an appearance. I’m ashamed to say I’ve only just read Riders. I was, however, slightly daunted at the whopping 915 pages. NINE hundred! But on an enforced time out I devoured it and thought it was fabulous. I thoroughly enjoyed it, despite the fact – or maybe even because of it – it is set in the 70s. I completely immersed myself in the world and found myself dreaming about horses despite not being a very horsey person.
I know many a woman love to love the love-rat that is Rupert Campbell-Black. So many of them are charmed by his good looks, his charisma, and his arrogance. My ace Novelicious colleague Cesca, described him in this post about heroes as “arrogant, witty, dangerous, loyal and HOT.” He’s a brute, a womanizer and a cad. Women know this, yet they still find him completely attractive. As Helen felt (not me, Helen, but the one in the novel): “Rupert was simply the most wrong but entirely romantic person she’d ever met. She was appalled how violently she felt attracted to him.”
Personally I preferred some of the other males in the story. But I do understand that none has the sheer magnetism that RCB has. Me? Well, give me a lardy cake, any day.
The lardy cake actually appears in the novel during the story of Jake, who utterly and completely loathes RCB. He’s with his future wife, Tory. They’ve both gone to see Tory’s Granny, to get her approval (and money) for their marriage and the cook, who still thinks Tory is a small child, serves them with lardy cake and gingerbread men.
Lardy cake is not actually a cake but a sweet bread, made with yeast. It’s simple to make so please do not be horrified by the lard in it. It is delicious. And yes you shouldn’t have too much of it. But sometimes, like the women who are charmed by Rupert, you just have to try a bit.
This is the first time I’ve made lardy cake. And the first time I’ve tasted it. It is so good. I could, quite frankly, eat a whole one (but I won’t), which I’m sure is what Cesca would say if she saw Rupert Campbell-Black in the flesh.
I used the recipe from The River Cottage but baked it in a loaf tin.