This recipe from Charmian Christie’s The Messy Bakerbook caught my eye. I have to admit I have only made griddle-style cakes once or twice and it is an under-explored technique, in my opinion. I guess we can’t call them “baked” goods but they have irresistible qualities like a cross between an English muffin and a scone or biscuit. Charmian’s approach to baking is refreshing in its approach. It’s about having fun and enjoying the process. Read our interview with her and also check out her Chocolate-Orange Gingersnap Drops.
Excerpted with permission. The Messy Baker: More Than 75 Delicious Recipes from a Real Kitchenby Charmian Christie. Published by Rodale Books, 2014.
This recipe emerged from hibernation when I temporarily moved in with my parents during a kitchen renovation that took over our small house. Taking advantage of our time together, Mom pulled out old, nearly forgotten family recipes. While we chatted, she diligently rolled out the dough, cut it into squares, and cooked the griddle cakes. We ate them with tea. When the tea was gone, we ate them with a smear of butter and a scrape of ginger marmalade. The sweet currants, bits of ginger, and gentle spices combine in an old-fashioned treat that is nearly impossible to resist. Comforting and approachable, this is one of my most requested recipes. Although we never have enough when people drop by for tea, you can halve this recipe.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 11/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground mace
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 cup currants
- ¾ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 6 tablespoons milk
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, and mace.
- Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the currants and ginger and toss lightly to coat thoroughly with the flour mixture.
- In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together until well combined. Pour over the dry ingredients. Mix to make a stiff dough. Divide the dough in half.
- Heat an ungreased griddle or a large nonstick frying pan (or 2) over medium-low heat. Alternatively, you can set an electric frying pan to 250F. You might have to fiddle with the heat to find the "sweet spot" for your griddle or pans. This is a make-again recipe.
- On a floured surface, roll the first half of dough to a square approximately 10" x 10" and ¼" thick. Cut into 2"-wide squares.
- Cook the cakes for 8 to 10 minutes, turning once, or until golden brown and cooked all the way through. While the griddle cakes are cooking, roll and cut the second half of the dough. Serve hot or cold.
Author’s Notes: Griddle cakes will keep in an airtight container for up to a week.
Variation: Swap chopped dried cranberries for the currants.
Tip: Mace is the outer skin of nutmeg. It’s a bit spunkier than nutmeg, with hints of clove and pepper. If you can’t find it, substitute the same amount of nutmeg, allspice, or apple pie spice.