Welsh Cakes

P1060896 (640x481)Happy St. David’s Day!

Who? What?
You may be wondering.
I don’t know if it is known or celebrated in other side of world or anywhere else in the world, but it’s 1st of March, Wales’ national holiday, with St. David as the saint of Wales.

I am not living in Wales, so we don’t do St. David’s Day. We do St.Patrick’s day on 17th March.
But why not?

I usually like any festivals, my own culture or not.
And I have been to St. David, a small city at the edge of south Wales, camping and walking around the beautiful coast line with my husband. It was such a lovely holiday.

Also, why not celebrate St. David’s day when I got this baking stone which many people buying only to make their Welsh Cakes.

(image from kitchen craft website)

Kitchen Craft Baking Stone (from kitchencraft.co.uk)

I got this to bake my hard bread and pizza in the oven. It can go into oven or used on top of cooker. (cast iron, so you might need to be careful not to damage the cooker top if you have electric one with glass top. I use on top of gas cooker.)

The baking stone even came with Welsh cake recipe at the back of box.
So, I used that recipe, with a bit of alteration to suit me.

Recipe   (I don’t do recipe on blog often, and when I do, it is very simple)

250g self-raising flour (or plain flour + 1 and half tsp baking powder)
75g butter
a pinch of salt
75g caster sugar
1tsp mixed spice
75g currents
1 egg
3tbs milk
some oil to grease the stone

1. Rub the butter into flour, as if you are making scone, till it becomes like fine breadcrumb.

2. Mix other dry ingredients.

3. Add liquid in, mix to form soft dough.

4. Till now, it is like making scone. Roll the dough on floured surface to about 1-1.5cm thick.  Thinner than usual scone. Cut with round cutter.

5. Put stone on the cooker, heat it up. oil slightly, and cook cakes on both side. I found that low heat works best for me at my cooker. Medium heat was too hot and burned some cake!

6. Eat warm with butter.

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roll and cut like this,

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on to the stone,

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Flip and cook other side,

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Ta darr! hot hot hot and yum yum yum!

It’s sweeter than usual raisin scone, so it’s best eat just as it  is with butter.
if you don’t have those flat baking stone, you can use frying pan.

I am sure that my Welsh cake cannot be in the competition with any Welsh family’s traditional ones, but my boys loved it at breakfast and it made a wonderful start of the weekend.

(March 2013)


Damson Jam

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Damsons are in season!

In case you don’t know what these beauties are, damsons are a kind of plum, small oval shape, native to the UK. It’s too tart to eat fresh, but it has such a beautiful flavour and colour when it is cooked.

I don’t have damson trees but my local veg shop sells them when they are in season. I don’t think supermarket sell them here but you might find them at farmers’ markets in Autumn.

Since I moved here, damson jam became one of those things I have to cook at least once during Autumn. It’s the taste of Autumn.

I cooked them as fresh jam, about 60g sugar per 100g fruits (with stone in). It is still quite sharp. I think you need to add lot more sugar to keep long term in a am jar, but I just keep it in small containers in fridge for eating now and in freezer for later.

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Since a friend of mine who grew up here told me that picking stones out of damson jam is the fun of making the jam and it also taste better if it is cooked whole (not sure if it is true, though), I always cook damsons with stones in.

You can take stones out easily when jam is cooked.

I made a batch of scone to go with.
Plain scone is the best to enjoy the taste of damson.

P1060061 (640x481)Autumn is here!

(Sep 2013)