There is a great blog on Sidra Glocal about Gwynt
y Ddraig's Black Dragon Cider and Welsh Cider as a whole.
To read the full blog,
A couple of weeks ago we were contacted by a lovely lady called
Angela who makes beautiful cakes and other sweet treats for a
living (almost as good as making cider for a living!), from her B Cake
Studio in Ebbw Vale, South Wales.
Knowing a good thing when she sees it, Angela decided to mix
these two great ingredients; cake and cider, and came up with... a
Tempted? Who wouldn't be! Now give it a go, and
let us know how you get on....
220g Plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
120mls Sweet pure juice cider
Preheat the oven to 180. Line a 12 cup muffin/cupcake tin with
paper cupcake liners.
1. Sift together flour, baking powder and cinnamon and set
2. With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and
fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
On a low speed, beat in half the flour mixture, followed by the
cider and the remaining flour mixture.
3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a cupcake
comes out clean, 22-24 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool
Cider Cream Cheese Frosting
250mls sweet pure juice cider
125g cream cheese
150g-300g icing sugar
a pinch of salt
1.Put the apple cider in a small pan and bring to a boil over
high heat. Continue to boil until the cider is reduced to about 2
tablespoons (it will be slightly syrupy). Set aside to cool
2.With an electric mixer, beat together cooled reduced cider,
cream cheese, pinch of salt, and 150g of the icing sugar. Add
enough additional icing sugar for desired frosting texture.
To find out more about Angela's cake creations and the B Cake
Studio, keep up-to-date with her blog.
Found this great article on Spanish cider, or should I say
'sidra' while surfing around looking for information on the Spanish
style of making and serving.
When I was in Asturias last year we visited a number of sidreria
and it is encouraging to see the connection between food and sidra,
whether tapas, or a full meal.
That got me thinking then more generally about food and cider
together.... (mmm, there are worse things to think about)! Is there
a universal link between certain foods and cider, or are there more
local traditions specific to a certain area. I think the common
associations are pork and cider, or cheese and cider.
When I was in Frankfurt earlier this year, I was intorduced to
'Handkäse mit Musik'. if you haven't had the pleasure of trying
this, then I can only suggest you seek it out if you are in
Frankfurt, mainly for the interesting experience this gives your
senses; firstly as you smell the pungent aroma, and secondly as the
strong flavours of the sour milk cheese in vinegar topped with raw
onions hit your taste buds.
So now the search continues for other culinary matches for
cider, and some interesting traditional cider recipes...!
We thought we would share this great photo that we have come
across from Rocquette
Cider, in Guernsey.
What do you think of the photo? We'd love to hear your
This is a great video from Le Père Jules in France on
Have a look and let us know what you think!
Mike Penney of Troggi Cider, Monmouthshire South Wales lets us
know about his French Cider and Perry connections.
What has a 1932 Morgan got to do with Welsh
My name is Mike Penney and I am the proprietor of
Troggi - makers of whole juice cider and perry and
specialising in sparkling perry. In 1983 I moved to Monmouthshire
and in 1984 started making cider and perry. In those days Usk
Agricultural College (as was) provided a contract milling and
pressing service and that is what got me going. The results were
encouraging so Troggi (named after the brook that borders
our land) was born.
Meanwhile a long term interest in Morgan cars had led to a
search for an example of the definitive Morgan - a sporting three
wheeler. These cars were produced between 1909 and 1952 with the
zenith of production and sporting success in the 1920's and 30's.
In 1989 the opportunity to purchase a part restored 1932 Super
Sports Morgan, powered by a 1100cc JAP V-twin engine, was
presented. Over the next 2 years the car was completed and in 1991
it was driven from Wales to Krakow to a medical conference to raise
money for a lithotripter (an ultrasonic kidney stone buster) - but
that's another story. This continental trip encouraged
participation in other events in Europe, and from 1995 to the
present regular visits to France have occurred each summer.
The French have traditionally had a particular liking for light
sports cars and in the 1920s and 30s the exploits of Morgans in the
UK were noted. This resulted in licences from the Morgan Motor
Company to manufacturers in France being granted and French
versions were produced namely Darmont and Sandford. Many of these
cars survive to this day so that each year the enthusiastic owners
clubs arrange meetings to which British Morgans are invited. These
meetings are wonderfully French. Usually held in wine growing
regions, arrangements are made to commandeer a medieval village or
small town, the roads are shut and an alfresco racing circuit is
arranged. After much roaring about usually in glorious sunshine
this is followed by general merriment, eating and drinking - real
Leaving the pits before the race.
Currently the favoured venue is a small medieval town south of
Saumur in the Loire Valley called Le Puy Notre Dame. This town is
perched on a knoll of tuffeau stone topped by a massive church
modelled on Poitier cathedral. Money to build the church was raised
in the 13th and 14th centuries when a sacred
relic was brought to Le Puy after the crusades - the garter of the
Virgin Mary. It was believed that touching the belt assured
uncomplicated childbirth so that the female nobility of Europe beat
a path to Le Puy and paid for the privilege, hence financing the
massive church building. However I digress...
Underneath Le Puy are old mine working dating back to Roman
times - mines to extract the tuffeau stone. In fact there are an
amazing 80 kilometres of galleries and chambers now providing ideal
storage facilities for maturing the local wines - including
sparkling Saumur Brut. The Saumur Brut is made predominantly from
the Chenin Blanc grape so is different from its more northerly
cousin Champagne; however, the secondary fermentation process is
identical. Although I had dabbled first with bottle conditioning of
perry (finishing the primary fermentation in the bottle) then with
bottle fermenting (inducing a secondary fermentation in the bottle)
advice from the Le Puy vignerons, especially Philippe Gourdon
(Chateau Tour Grise) enabled me to refine the process, including
the controlled disgorgement of the sediment - away from the
spectacular but rather wasteful dégorgement à la
So there you have it. How a car with a Welsh name made on the
English/Welsh border nearly 80 years ago helped to rejuvenate
sparkling perry making in Wales.
Fighting off the French threat
We did, the organisers! What it means is that this festival only
showcases 'pure juice' ciders and perries. 'Pure Juice' means
exactly what it says, just apple juice, no added water.
It seems odd to add any water at all. But the larger
cidermakers, those that produce the national brands, feel that they
have to. To be fair to them, it is hard to make a consistent
product without adding water. When you make craft cider, every
barrel is different, and this is all part of the attraction.
Blending can iron out major differences, but the mass-market
demands a bland product that is exactly the same time after time.
Little surprise then that some global cider brands contain less
than 50% juice, often made from imported apple concentrate, with
the difference made up with water, sugar, and all manner of other
But what of our overseas cousins? The craft producers from
France, Spain and Germany are even more fanatical about pure juice
than us. When I spoke to the President of the Basque cidermakers,
through an interpreter, he told me that 'we don't add any rubbish
like water or sugar'.
I've always believed that Welsh cider should align itself with
the pure juice ethos of our continental chums, and that is why the
Welsh Perry and Cider Society is a pure juice society, and why the
PDO status that we are applying for has pure juice as a
So, what would you prefer to drink? A natural and pure product
hand-crafted in small batches by artisans, or a mass-produced
industrial chemical cocktail? At the ICCF you can be sure that you
will make the right choice every time!