Sourdough Surprises this month challenged us to make griddle cakes with our starters. This was a fairly wide-open category and I could have made English Muffins or Crumpets, both of which I enjoy. However the description of a Welsh Cake caught my fancy – it was described as a soft and tender cross between a muffin, a pancake and a biscuit. Basically, they are a slack dough cooked on a griddle but the finished texture is a lot like a scone or biscuit but sweet like a muffin. How could I not try that?
Welsh Cakes are often studded with dried fruit (typically currants) and can be eaten plain or spread with jam or sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. I decided to go the dried fruit route, finely chopping some sour cherries and adding in some mini chocolate chips for good measure and then sprinkled the finished cakes with cinnamon sugar. Since the traditional leavening is baking powder, I simply used some discard starter in the batter in place of some of the milk and flour. We are now in love with Welsh Cakes! They were much easier to make than pancakes but cooked up just as quickly. I won’t tell you how many we ate the first day as it’s kind of embarrassing. I do wish that the sourdough taste came through a little better so I think next time I would let the dough rest overnight in the refrigerator to try to develop more flavor.
Author: BakeNQuilt.com adapted from King Arthur Flour
Recipe type: Breakfast
A tender and sweet biscuit-like dough cooked on a griddle like a pancake and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar
2¾ Cups (304g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Cup (198g) granulated sugar
2 tsp. (8g) baking powder
2 Tbsp. 18g Dry Milk Powder
¾ tsp (5g) salt
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 C (2 sticks/227g) cold butter, diced
½ C (71g) dried cherries, finely chopped
¼ Cup (40g) mini chocolate chips
½ C (115g) 100% hydration sourdough starter
1 T granulated sugar mixed with 1 tsp. of cinnamon for topping, optional
In a mixing bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together (flour through nutmeg).
Cut in the butter until a evenly crumbly mixture is formed.
Mix in the chocolate chips and the dried cherries.
Mix together the starter and the eggs in a small bowl until combined.
Add the starter and egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a fork until the dough is evenly moistened.
Turn the dough out onto a floured board, it will be sticky and soft. Divide it into two balls.
Roll each ball into a 9" (dinner plate sized) disk that is about ¼" thick. Wrap each disk well in plastic wrap.
You can use one of the disks right away while the other chills, but I found it easier to work with when I chilled both disks for several hours. I was also hoping to develop more sourdough flavor that way.
Preheat a griddle to 325F/163C or an ungreased skillet or griddle pan over low-medium heat.
Cut one 2" circle out of the dough with a biscuit cutter. Cook one biscuit by itself on the griddle first to make sure the temperature is correct. It should cook to light golden brown on the first side in 2½ minutes, flip it and finish cooking on the other side in another 2½ minutes. If they brown too quickly or not quickly enough, adjust the temperature of your pan.
Working in batches, cut out and cook the remaining dough. Keep the disk you're not working with in the refrigerator until needed as it warms up quickly. Re-roll your scrapes to cut more cakes.
Remove the cakes to a rack to cool and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar if desire.
I would add more mini chocolate chips and cherries next time.
When Kate from The Veg Space announced that this month’s We Should Cocoa theme would be to pair chocolate with blackberries, I admit that I was less than enthusiastic. I love chocolate and I love blackberries, but I don’t think of them as going together in desserts. Blackberry is a delicate flavor that seems like it would be easily overwhelmed by the dark chocolate that I love. Additionally, we have been trying to eat a few less desserts so I needed to make something that wouldn’t have a lot of leftovers. I noticed that Choclette from Tin & Thyme used a chocolate blackberry jam in a lovely galette which I thought was very interesting. Poking around through my Pinterest account in search of inspiration, I came across a chia seed jam. Ah ha! I had been wanting to try using chia seeds in jam, so why not try making a Chocolate Blackberry Chia Seed Jam?
Chia seeds have all kinds of good nutrients and fiber in them and seem to be all the rage right now. Ironically, I had a much easier time finding Chia seeds than I did finding frozen blackberries! We do have some fresh blackberries still in our farmer’s markets and stores, but they are ridiculously expensive. Since I was going to be cooking and straining them anyway, I wanted to go the economical route. The jam was pretty easy to make, with the exception of the work involved in de-seeding the blackberries. That step isn’t strictly necessary, but those blackberry seeds really get stuck in my teeth so I wanted them gone. After cooking the blackberries to soften them and then de-seeding them, the remaining juice and pulp is simmered with the Chia seeds for only 5-10 minutes, just until it begins to thicken. Taking the jam off the heat, I stirred in a handful of bittersweet chocolate chips and let them melt before stirring again to smooth out the mixture. A little vanilla and a pinch of salt and my jam was done.
The jam is delicious and I’m so glad I tried it! I can taste both the blackberries and the chocolate, which makes me very happy. While we’re still essentially eating fudge for breakfast on our toast, the Chia seeds and blackberries at least make it seem healthy. Thanks for the inspiration, Choclette!
Blackberries are thickened with chia seeds over low heat and then mixed with bittersweet chocolate to make a jam that is rich and satisfying.
1 lb. frozen blackberries
2 T water
2 T granulated sugar
3 T Chia seeds
½ tsp. vanilla
small pinch of salt
3 oz (85g) 65% bittersweet chocolate, chopped
In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the blackberries and 2 T of water for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the blackberries are soft enough to crush with the back of a spoon.
If you don't care for seeds, mash the blackberries through a strainer to remove the seeds. If you aren't bothered by the seeds, continue on with the next step.
To the remaining pulp, add the sugar and the Chia seeds.
Cook over medium-low for another 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens.
Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute or two to melt, then stir well to completely combine the chocolate and blackberry mixture. Stir in the vanilla and a pinch of salt.