Thursday, 1 March 2012

Welsh cakes: Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus

Or Happy St David's Day (thanks Ruthie)

Welsh cakes are one of those things that everyone who already makes them has their own recipe for - and many of those recipes involve instructions such as "add flour up to the blue line on the mixing bowl" which makes perfect sense to no more than one or two people (although to them, perfect sense). I wanted to note the recipe M's mum uses down to enable other people to have a go, and also because I think it would be an ideal patrol cooking idea for Guide camp. As I did with the cake pops, the other week, I'll post up an activity plan for doing these with Guides tomorrow.

For anyone who doesn't know Welsh cakes are little flat scone like sweet treats, oft fruited (but it's entirely possible to leave that out) and cooked on a bakestone (or flat griddle, heavy based frying pan or skillet). Ideal with a cup of tea, they are incredibly popular in this house, and regularly the downfall of any healthy eating I have going on. So it was that wrist still in plaster I found myself sat at the kitchen table watching Mark's mum make these. And with due deference to Mark's mum, here it is for anyone who wants a go.

I've since had a go at making these myself, using in the place of a bakestone a non-stick frying pan. They do work, just not as well as on a bakestone and as you can see some of them caught

Welsh Cakes

8oz plain flour
4oz butter (it needs to be butter, you can taste it)
3-4oz caster sugar
4-5oz dried fruit (optional)
1 egg
1/2 tsp sweet mixed/ cake spice

You will also need:
Scone cutter
fat to grease your pan
Said pan: skillet, bakestone or heavy based frying pan
rolling pin
Mixing bowl
Pallette knife/ fish slice

Put your bakestone/pan on to heat up, and open all your windows as it can be a bit smoky
Rub the butter into the flour until your mixture resembles breadcrumbs
Add the sugar and fruit
Add the egg and mix relatively gently with your hands until it comes together as a ball of dough
Flour the worktop
Roll out until about 1cm thick and cut out as many circles as you can before re-rolling the trimmings and repeating until you have used up all your dough
Grease your bakestone with some fat on a piece of kitchen towel
Put the welsh cakes on the bakestone and every minute or two turn them over until the texture changes from scone like to a soft biscuit - try to avoid them burning, but they need to be quite dark in colour

Serve as soon as they're cool enough to touch with cups of tea, or if you're desperate as they come off the bakestone - just try not to burn your mouth!

As I say you could easily leave out the fruit, and serve them with jam, syrup or even marmalade. They are perfect for packed lunches, snacks when walking, or to have for those moments when you just need something for elevenses or threesies.

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