Happy St David’s Day! St David is the patron saint of Wales – he was a bishop during the 6th century and was Welsh by birth. Today is it traditional to celebrate all things Welsh and I feel especially compelled to do so due to my recent trip to Wales (which I promise to write about soon!) Unfortunately, the traditional Welsh dish of Laver (seaweed bread) didn’t sound very appetizing, so instead I settled on dinner with leeks (one of the Welsh national flowers) as well as steak, roast potatoes and braised cabbage. For dessert I made Welsh cakes – a current studded cross between a cookie and a pancake. I have fond memories of these little treats. They were something my grandmother and parents used to make, especially during the summer when turning on the oven on hot days was definitely not on. I love these little cakes because they aren’t too sweet. They’re lovely on their own or with jam. Here’s an easy recipe modified from one on BBC food.
• 2 scant cups flour, sieved
• 3 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp salt
• ½ cup salted butter
• 1 egg
• handful of currant or sultanas
• milk, if needed
• ½ cup sugar
• extra butter, for greasing
1. Cut the butter into the sieved flour to make breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, dried fruit and then the egg. Mix to combine, then form a ball of dough, using a splash of milk if needed.
2. Roll out the pastry until it is a 5mm/¼in thick and cut into rounds with a 2in round cutter.
3. Heat a heavy griddle or frying pan. Rub it with butter and wipe the excess away. Put it on to a direct heat and wait until it heats up, place the Welsh cakes on the griddle, turning once. They need about 2-3 minutes each side. Each side needs to be caramel brown before turning.
4. Remove from the pan. Some people leave out the dried fruit, and split them when cool and sandwich them together with jam.