Happy St David’s Day! St David’s Day is when the people of Wales celebrate their patron saint, St David. Known as Dewi Saint in Welsh, he was born in Caerfai in Pembrokeshire in around 500 AD. He was recognised as national patron saint at the height of Welsh resistance to the Normans.
Honestly, not much is known about St. David’s life but he was known for performing miracles. His most famous miracle? When he was preaching to a large crowd at the Synod of Brefi and raised the ground beneath him into a hill. He also lived after eating bread poisoned by monks at his monastery and restored the sight of his tutor, St Paulinus. He sounds like a pretty stand-up guy so it’s easy t see why the Welsh wanted him as patron saint. St David is thought to have died on March 1 589 AD and his remains buried in St David’s Cathedral in Pembrokeshire.
Whilst St David’s Day used to be a massive celebration across the country, St David’s Day is mainly celebrated in Wales. People will often be seen wearing a daffodil, the national symbol of Wales, or a leek which is St David’s personal symbol. Welsh children will enjoy traditional Welsh dances, songs and poems. However, you don’t have to be Welsh to celebrate St David’s Day, so why not celebrate the patron saint with a Welsh recipe? Welsh cakes are eaten every day of the year (because they are delicious) but they also do form part of the St David’s Day celebrations. In fact, the world record for the largest Welsh cake ever made was set on St David’s Day in 2014 and it was 1.5 metres wide and weighed 21.7kg. Whilst we doubt you’ll be trying to achieve such a large cake, we have provided a recipe on how to create the perfect Welsh cake. Yes, perfect. You can make it while listening to the Welsh national anthem, which we have also provided below.
- 225g/8oz plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp grated nutmeg
- 90g/3¼oz golden caster sugar
- 115g/4oz butter, softened
- 115g/4oz raisins or currants
- 1 egg, beaten
- A little milk
Put the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and sugar in a bowl and rub in the butter. Add the dried fruit, then the egg and mix to make a dough. If it is too crumbly to roll, add a teaspoon or two of milk. The dough should feel soft, but not sticky.
Roll out the dough to ½ cm/¼in thickness and cut out as many rounds as you can. Push together the remaining dough and roll out again. Cut more discs and repeat until all the dough has been used.
Heat the griddle or pan to no more than medium heat – the cakes can burn easily – then place a few onto the pan. Cook for about 2½ to 3 minutes either side until golden and puffed. Serve hot with butter, or store and reheat in the toaster.
recipe by Rose Prince
feature image: wales.com