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St. David’s Day is every March 1st and if you read my post from last year, you might recall that it is the celebration of St. David, the patron saint of Wales. If you can’t be in Wales to celebrate St. David’s Day, then you can at least make some Welsh Cakes right at home and enjoy with a cup of your favorite tea or if you’re really up for it, some Twinings Prince of Wales Tea!
What is a Welsh Cake? It’s like a cross between a pancake, cookie, or a scone but they are nothing like it. These are somewhat similar in appearance to Eccles Cakes but Welsh Cakes are a bit flatter than an Eccles Cake and unlike an Eccles Cake, Welsh Cakes are not filled. In order to make Welsh Cakes, these must be made on a griddle or a bake stone. Once you get the hang of cooking these, it’s literally a piece of cake!
- 225g/8oz plain flour
- 100g/4oz butter
- 75g/3oz caster sugar
- 50g/2oz currants (or raisins can be used)
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp mixed spice (to make mixed spice, simply mix 1 tablespoon ground allspice, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of ground nutmeg, 2 teaspoons of ground mace, 1 teaspoon of ground cloves, 1 teaspoon of ground coriander, and 1 teaspoon of ground ginger)
- 1 egg
- A pinch salt
- A little milk to bind
Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, mixed spice) together into a mixing bowl. Cut up the butter and rub into the flour. Stir in the sugar and fruit, pour in the egg and mix to form a dough, use a little milk if the mixture is a little dry. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to about the thickness of a biscuit. Use a pastry cutter to cut out rounds. Cook the cakes on a greased bake stone or griddle until golden. The heat should not be too high, since the cakes will cook on the outside too quickly, and not in the middle. Once cooked sprinkle with caster sugar and serve with butter.
According to the Welsh Travel Website where this recipe comes from, an alternative you can try is mixed dried fruit or tropical fruit instead of currants or raisins. Some grated lemon or orange rind is also good, too! An unusual but delicious addition is 1 teaspoon of lavender flowers with some citrus zest. Add a little orange juice, zest and icing sugar to some soft butter to serve with the Welsh cakes.
Have a Dydd Gwŷl Dewi (Sant) hapus!
I admit that in recent years, I began to hear a lot more about the country of Wales. It is located just southwest of Great Britain and while a majority of the nation speaks English, Wales has a language of its own (Welsh). The country even has several tea companies like Glengettie tea, Murroughs Welsh Brew, and a Prince of Wales Blend.
I’m bringing up Wales today because of an upcoming holiday. Saint David’s Day, or Dydd Gwŷl Dewi (Sant) hapus in Welsh, falls every year on March 1st and is a celebration of Wales’ patron saint, Saint David. March 1st was chosen as the day because Saint David died on this day in (estimated) 589 A.D.. It was believed that he had gone on a pilgrimage all the way to Jerusalem where he became an archbishop. He founded his own cathedral, the St. David’s Cathedral, to which people began to attend to because they heard many miracles have happened when he was around (like making the ground rise underneath him). The cathedral still has millions of visitors each year!
Every year on St. David’s Day, there are parades in Wales, especially in the major city of Cardiff, where many Welsh residents wear either a daffodil or a leek. Daffodils and leeks are Wales’ national emblems as the Battle of the Saxons were won in a field of leeks (now that think I think about it, ever heard of a welsh onion?). Songs, concerts, and even the Welsh national anthem, are all sung on this day.
Happy Saint David’s Day!