Conversations with RJ…
J: Do you want a cookie-cake thing for the car?
R: YES PLEASE. What’s in them?… Cranberries?
J: Yep, but I could have added any dried fruit really, the original recipe calls for currants.
R: Oh, currants would be nice.
J: You don’t even know what a current is.
R: Yes I do, it’s like a raisin, but on a salad.
J: Oh you’ve just written the start of my post. Also, bwahahaha.
Have you ever visited a blog and thought you yourself, “I recognise the name and know I’ve been here before but why on earth haven’t I been here more often?” Well that’s exactly what happened when I landed on Lavender and Lovage, my assigned blog for this month’s Secret Recipe Club.
Karen is a freelance writer and recipe developer and is currently working on a cookbook with the aim of reclaiming the near-forgotten British feasts, festivals and traditions she’s discovered through her research. Oh, and she splits her time between her home in the UK and the South West of France — doesn’t that sound just lovely!
In any case, to say I got lost in her recipe archives would be an understatement and somewhere between gorgeous looking roasted eggplant and sweet peppers, and more-ish walnut rolls I landed on her Welsh griddle cakes and a fresh gazpacho soup.
The peppers and rolls were marked for later due to an aversion to turning on the oven in the middle of 90+ degree heat — it is summer in Sydney after all — and as all the veggies are currently going into rainbow salads the gazpacho would have to wait… Griddle cakes it would be.
They were subject to my usual substitutions — spelt, coconut oil, unrefined sugar — and got a bit fancy for the holiday season with some dried cranberries, but the basic method is pretty much unchanged.
So what is a griddle cake? Well it’s somewhere between a scone and a cookie, cooked on a griddle like a pancake instead of in an oven. The spelt and oil made them just crumbly enough, and they are as perfect for breakfast as they are for morning or afternoon tea.
RJ was going to put scrambled eggs on his (think cinnamon-raisin-bagel-egg-sandwich-esque) but that was before he sat on the lounge and ate two without a sound. I took the “serve with butter” suggestion as an opportunity to make a vat of Vegan Butter because one can always use more butter.
Needless to say everybody wins, especially if you make these for tea. Don’t worry, I’ll bring the butter.
Cranberry Maple Griddle Cakes
Somewhere between a scone, a pancake and a cookie these morning tea treats are cooked on a griddle and perfect with a cup of tea. With spelt, maple, cranberry and coconut oil this is my twist on an old Welsh recipe, adapted from Lavender and Lovage.
- 1 ¼ c whole spelt flour, plus extra for cutting
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp flakey sea salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 c coconut oil (80g), solid
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ c dried cranberries (75g)
- 1 egg
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together. Add coconut oil and cut through with a pastry blender or rub with your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir through cranberries. Whisk egg and syrup together and stir into flour mixture to create a fairly stiff dough.
Preheat a heavy-based skillet or electric griddle to medium. Liberally dust a sheet of baking paper with extra flour and turn out dough.
Use floured fingers to gently pat dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut rounds with a floured cutter or drinking glass, patting any scraps together and cut again — you should get about 8 cakes plus a cook’s treat or two.
Grease hot skillet with a bit of extra coconut oil and cook cakes for 3 minutes on each side. Serve warm or at room temperature with butter or vegan butter and a cup of tea.
- If the dough is too soft to move to the griddle after cutting, slide paper onto a tray and refrigerate for a few mins — the coconut oil will firm up again as it cools and make the rounds easier to move. Probably not necessary in winter, decidedly required in the middle of summer, ahem.
- If your coconut oil is melted measure it out into a dish and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until firm but not solid. If coconut oil is too solid to work this method can help.
vegetarian // whole-grain // diary-free // refined sugar-free // soy-free // nut-free