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.