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Indian baker inspired to make Welsh cakes in Mumbai

01 Mar 2024 3 minute read
Desiree making Welsh cakes in Mumbai

A baker based in India has been impressing locals after trying her hand at Welsh cakes, finding inspiration in an old family recipe.

Desiree Bradford, who runs the Goodie Bag Co based in Mumbai, has enjoyed baking the much-loved Welsh treats, despite having no idea what they were supposed to taste like beforehand.

Family recipe

Born and raised in Mumbai, she was given an old family recipe by Mitchell Theaker, a Welsh native who recently moved to the country as the Welsh Government’s head of India.

Desiree said: “It definitely made me nervous; trying to recreate something that Mitch has had since childhood, it was a big ask. 

“Also, I had no idea what it actually tastes like. I did enjoy the process – learning about it – that it was meant to be a hardy food for the miners, who carried them in their pockets.

“Mitch was very encouraging with his feedback and after a few trials – I hope I can do some justice to the Welsh cakes.”


She’s also created a fusion to celebrate the coming together of the two nations, in addition to the original recipe – an Indian-inspired rose, cardamom and pistachio flavour.

Wales in India

St David’s Day is being celebrated in Mumbai as the Welsh Government announces that 2024 is the year of Wales in India.

Year-long celebrations will bring the two nations together through a series of events, stories and activities which celebrate the two nations of culture and innovation.

Food is playing a key part in the celebrations – both throughout the year and at the St David’s Day events.

Alongside showcasing popular brands, such as Penderyn whisky and Calon Wen cheese to a global market, Desiree made more than 1,000 Welsh cakes ready for the St David’s Day celebrations in Mumbai.

Desiree making Welsh cakes

Desiree, who also loves to ride motorcycles in her spare time, wasn’t actually sure what the cakes were supposed to taste like. She said: “The first time I made Welsh cakes, I could not gauge if it was supposed to taste like a cookie or a pancake or a scone.

“I had to watch lots of videos on dos and don’ts, it does take some time to understand just how much to cook it, so it doesn’t get dry. 

“Since then I have been enjoying the Welsh cakes – especially when they are straight off the pan.”

Connections

The recipe came from Mitchell’s grandmother, who was from Ynyshir, and he believes she probably got the recipe from her mother.

Mitchell said: “My grandmother lived in Ynyshir, Rhondda all her life. 

“Seeing her Welsh cake recipe, being baked in Mumbai with such love for our Saint David’s Day events, well, it’s really touching. 

“To us it’s more than just a set of instructions; it’s a piece of our family’s heart and history that Desiree has honoured so beautifully. 

“The timeless appeal of genuine, traditional, home-cooked goodness. It’s a beautiful bridge between our two countries.”

Baking Welsh cakes has even inspired Desiree to learn more about our nation, and even attempt to try more Welsh classics.

“I honestly can’t say that I know much about Wales, but I am definitely inspired to visit and curious to try some other Welsh favourites like the Bara Brith.”


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

This is an old old story of Empire see @Swansea History: The Welsh and Empire: Early Reflections on India…What are Baronesses for if not clinging on to empire…

Last edited 1 month ago by Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

The man who would be Welsh King of India, now giving out Welsh cake recipes is a product of Swansea Uni and a protogee of Drakeford. Therefore no surprise he gets the top job but up until then he has a been a drifter gaining what qualifications to be made ‘our man in India’, I wonder?. It all makes for amusing reading on line, you can follow ‘Mitch’ on Linked-in (where else!) but I wonder what Mr Modi Ji thinks of it all?… Has Wales sent a small army of young ‘Turks’ with their begging bowls to Mumbai and elsewhere… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Mab Meirion

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