Apologies for things being a bit quiet the past week – I’ve been off on a lovely relaxing birthday holiday in Wales and have really quite enjoyed not being sat in front of a computer all day!
While there hasn’t been time for blogging, there has been time for baking (isn’t there always?!) and I struck a deal with my uncle Ray who I’ve been visiting in Carmarthen that if I showed him how to make two types of cookies he would show me how to make Welsh cakes, using a recipe which a Welsh friend of his has had in the family for several generations.
I think the best way of describing Welsh cakes if you haven’t had them before is that they’re kind of like sweet, flat fruit scones, but dry-fried rather than baked.
While Ray cooked batch after batch (the recipe makes more than 30), I hovered to grab them while they were warm, fresh from the pan, and they really were delicious. Apparently you can serve them with butter, but I liked them straight up, as did the pony.
It would have been criminal to visit Wales and not try a bit of traditional Welsh baking, and now I know how it’s done I can have a go myself back home…
Traditional Welsh cakes
- 450g plain flour
- 115g margarine
- 170g caster sugar
- 1 medium egg
- Splash of milk
- 50g (ish) dried fruit – raisins, currants or sultanas would all be fine
Start by rubbing the margarine into the flour, as you would to make shortbread or pastry. Stir in the caster sugar, then add the egg and mix in with your hands (this is Ray’s least favourite bit). Add enough milk for the dough to just hold together without being sticky, then mix in the dried fruit.
Roll the dough out on a floured surface to about 1/4″ thick, then use a biscuit cutter to cut 2-3″ rounds. Heat a frying pan,, greased with a little butter to stop the cakes sticking, then fry them in batches for a couple of minutes on each side, until browned and cooked through. Best eaten fresh from the pan!