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Cooking Celtic Cakes

27 Aug

Ink drawing: Tinker's Cakes on the griddle.


We have a glut of cooking apples this year and they’re a type that doesn’t store very well so I’m trying out as many apple recipes as I can find time to. Today I made Tinker’s Cakes, which are a variation on Welsh Cakes, a traditional Celtic dish, using apples and cinnamon instead of currants and nutmeg. The cakes are cooked on an iron ‘maen’ or ‘planc’ in Welsh, a griddle or bakestone in English. This is a very ancient way of cooking over a fire. Celtic cooking was done either in an iron cauldron, giving rise to one-pot dishes like Irish Stew, Lobscouse from Liverpool and Cawl, a Welsh lamb and vegetable soup, or a griddle. You can still buy cakes and breads cooked in this way from Swansea market and Scottish oatcakes, pikelets, crepes and pancakes are also part of this tradition.

We went for a run along the beach earlier so we were starving when we got back and I thought we deserved some nice Tinker’s Cakes hot off the maen, with some lovely Welsh farmhouse butter melting into them. We nommed the lot! I’ll have to do another run tomorrow to work off the calories!

I did a drawing of the cakes in my sketchbook while they were cooking. It’s in Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens, sizes S and F with shading by FCP again, only this time their set of ‘Shades of Grey’ brush pens.

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