Recipe 157 – Welsh Cakes

Back into the kitchen to bake this afternoon after a morning of ironing!

From my list I have made of the next 17 recipes to bake (which will leave me with 3  recipes in each of remaining sections I have left to bake) I picked Welsh Cakes.  With the big decider coming up this weekend in the Six Nations I thought I’d get this one out-of-the-way as I didn’t think my husband would be too amused if I baked them on Saturday when we will all be cheering England on in the rugby!!

It looked quite a quick recipe to make.  No need for the oven to go on to preheat for this recipe, these were cooked on a griddle on the hob.  I used to have (well I still do) a griddle for my cooker but it was used a couple of years ago by my son for a barbeque that he had made himself – a large hole in the ground!  I must admit it cooked the food very successfully, but I’ve never felt the same way about it since and it still remains outside with our ‘real’ barbeque.  Instead I had to use one of my heavy-duty frying pans.  This was lightly greased in preparation for the cooking later.

For some reason I had in my mind that these would be a ‘pancake’ style recipe (probably as they were to be cooked on the hob and not baked in the oven) but from a quick read through the recipe, they seemed to be more pastry orientated.

Into a bowl went 350g self-raising flour, together with 2 level teaspoons of baking powder.  These were given a quick stir together.  Next 175g butter was added.  This was cut into cubes with a knife and rubbed in to the flour with my fingertips.  The rest of the dry ingredients were added (100g currants, 115g caster sugar and 3/4 teaspoon of ground mixed spice).  These were stirred through until blended.

In a separate bowl I cracked one large egg and to this I added 2 tablespoons of milk before giving them a light beat together.  This was tipped onto the dry mixture and using a spoon to start with and then my fingers, the mixture was brought to a firm dough.  Mary does say that you may need to add a little more milk, but I found this amount to be just right.

The dough was turned out onto a lightly floured board and rolled out to a thickness of 5mm.  A tip for rolling out dough – cover the dough with clingfilm and then roll it out, this prevents it from sticking to the rolling-pin.  Using a 7.5cm fluted cutter (Mary does say in the recipe to use a round one as it’s easier to cut through the currants – but in her foreword at the top of the recipe she states that the traditional way is to use a fluted cutter) cut into rounds.  I had to roll my dough out twice more until I had used virtually all of it up.  I think in total I made 20 ‘cakes’.

My ‘griddle’ was put on to heat and once it had warmed up I turned the gas down so it wasn’t too hot.  Into the pan I put 3 of the welsh cakes.  Mary says to cook them for three minutes on each side, the first ones I had to cook just a little bit longer, I don’t think the pan had warmed up enough.  Once they were golden brown on the underside I flipped them over using a fish slice – I found a palette knife wasn’t wide enough as they were still  quite soft, so the first two split into two! Mary does say to cook them over a medium heat and not too cook them too quickly, otherwise they will be cooked on the outside but raw in the middle.

Once they were a lovely golden brown on both sides they were put onto a cooling rack to cool.  It was at this point that my son arrived back home from school.  His first comment was,  “are they ready to eat?” I quickly sprinkled the ones I had already baked with caster sugar and he quickly ate one, then two and then a third.  They were obviously very tasty as he’s quite fussy about cakes!

I must admit they were delicious little cakes.  Mary does state to eat them on the day of baking and once cooled to serve them sprinkled with caster sugar and buttered.  I never got round to buttering mine – I’m not a fan of butter (never have any on bread), so the caster sugar was fine with me.  I don’t think any of the family actually buttered them, they ate them with just the caster sugar on top.

Will I bake them again – I think so, they would be a nice treat for tea if we had friends or family round.

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