Sunday, March 1 is Saint David’s Day in Wales. Saint David is the patron saint of Wales. In the sixth century he founded a Celtic monastic community there, and was known as a teacher and ascetic throughout the Celtic world.
We thought we’d take this opportunity to dip into the Draper employee cookbook to bring a bit of Welsh flavor to the Draper blog.
Welsh cakes, also known as bakestones in Wales, are sort of a cross between a pancake, a cookie, and a scone. Welsh Cakes were traditionally served at afternoon tea, and in school lunches. They are durable and filling, so they were also a favorite of Welsh coal miners.
This recipe for Welsh cakes comes from Brian Cassley, Draper’s European Sales Manager and a native Welshman. Here’s what Brian has to say about it:
I remember this recipe for Welsh Cakes originated with my Grand Mother, Mary “Nanna” Cassley. Until I was 10 yr old my Mum and Dad and me and Mike, my older brother, lived with my Nanna and Grampy in their house and Mike and I were regularly treated to Welsh Cakes.
Nanna was always cooking and baking so she didn’t need special occasions or celebrations to heat up her iron baking stone on the open fire for the Welsh Cakes. Her recipe was handed on to my Mum and in turn to my daughter Dawn who is carrying on the tradition for our family.
Now here’s the recipe:
- 8 oz. self raising flour
- 3 oz. butter
- ¼ tsp. ‘pinch’ of salt
- 3 oz. currents
- 3 oz. caster sugar (more required later for sprinkling)
- 1 large egg
- A little milk
- ¼ tsp. of spice (optional)
Mix the butter into the flour. Add the dry ingredients, then add the egg and milk. Mix into a stiff paste. Roll out into a sheet approx. ¼” thick. Cut out round shapes from the sheet approx. 3” diameter. Bake the shapes on a griddle (or iron baking stone if available) over a medium heat until golden brown. Then turn the shapes over & repeat. Cool the shapes on a baking tray then sprinkle with caster sugar when cool (my preference) or cold. Eat the Welsh Cakes as they are or with jam or cream. Cakes can be warmed up in the microwave.
A final note on caster sugar: Caster sugar can be made by putting regular sugar in a coffee grinder. In U.S. stores it may be hard to find, but will be called either “superfine” or “icing” sugar.