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History Cookbook: Beancakes (sweet)

This recipe is in categories Saxons & Vikings, Main courses, Snacks
About this recipe
Healthiness : (246 votes)
Difficulty:  2 out of 5 difficulty
Comments: These beancakes require the use of a sharp knife for chopping ingredients. The cakes are fried in a heavy based frying pan. It is a little tricky to brown them thoroughly without burning them. To avoid this keep turning them and adjust the heat to ensure they cook properly.
Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 12-15 minutes
Number of servings: Makes 10-12 cakes
Serving suggestions: Serve hot or cold.
This is a vegetarian recipe

This recipe uses flour. The end of the Anglo-Saxon period saw development of water mills but most flour was ground using a quern. The broad beans would have been grown in plots in the village along with other vegetables.

The Saxons would have cooked foods such as small cakes or pancakes on a big iron skillet or hanging griddle near an open fire.

The cakes are best eaten hot but are also good cold. They need to be cooked slowly to ensure the batter is cooked all the way through. The cakes should be firm and not sticky, when hot they will be slightly crisp on the outside.

  •   225g broad beans ( fresh,in their pods or frozen)
  •   85g  plain flour
  •   100ml milk (approx)
  •   2 15ml spoonfuls runny honey
  •   a knob of butter, approx 25g
  •   optional: 1 15ml spoonful of linseeds
  • A chopping board
  • A knife for chopping
  • 15ml Spoon
  • Measuring jug
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Heavy based, frying pan
  • Wooden/metal spoon for mixing
  • Fish slice
  • Serving dish
  • Optional: Kitchen roll to drain the cooked cakes on
Making and cooking it
Always wash your hands before preparing food Always wash your hands before preparing food.

  1. Shell the beans from their pods, if they are in pods. Defrost if frozen
  2. Chop the beans roughly on a board into small pieces
  3. Add the flour
  4. Moisten this with milk to make a paste
  5. Add the runny honey. This will make the paste wetter. You may need to add more milk to make sure the batter drops off your spoon
  6. If you wish, you can add a sprinkle of linseeds and some crushed hazelnuts  
  7. When the batter will drop from the spoon, lightly grease the frying pan , you could use oil/ butter for this
  8. When the fat begins to sizzle and smoke a little, drop spoonfuls of the bean batter into the pan
  9. You will need to turn the cakes and move them around so they don't scorch - you will need to reduce the heat so the cakes cook right through
  10. Once they are golden on both sides they are ready
  11. Eat hot or cold
Beancakes (sweet) - print view  Beancakes (sweet) - print view

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There are 4 comments for this recipe.
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Name: HistoryFanatic 10th January 2019
This is too good to be true!!!!!
Name: Izzy Wizz 8th December 2015
Better than I thought in fact quite tasty. Yum Yum!
Name: Rahul 10th June 2012
Gee whiz, and I thohugt this would be hard to find out.
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