Welsh Cakes

Welsh Cakes

Fragrant and fruity little “cakes” which are delicious with a cup of tea

welsh cakes - all cooked

Welsh Cakes!

Makes about 24; preparation 10 minutes, cooking time around 5 minutes per batch, total time depends how many will fit in your pan at once.

Ingredients:

  • 8oz* self-raising flour (or 8oz of plain flour and 2 teaspoons of baking powder), plus extra for rolling out
  • 1/2tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4oz salted butter
  • 4oz of caster sugar (plus extra for dusting)
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • 2oz raisins

Equipment:

  • Bowl for mixing
  • Bowl and fork for beating the egg
  • Rolling pin
  • Cutter (I use a xcm round fluted one)
  • Bakestone or cast iron skillet (at a push you can use a normal frying pan but you really have to watch the heat!)

Method:

Start by mixing the spices and the salt into the flour.  Then rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Next stir through the sugar and then add beaten egg and combine to form a soft dough.

Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pour the raisins on top.  Gently knead the mix to incorporate the raisins.  Once evenly mixed roll the dough out to about a ¼ inch thick* (approximately 2/3rds of a cm) and start to cut out the cakes using whatever shape cutter you wish.

Place the cut cakes to one side (on a lightly floured surface) and reform the spare dough.  Roll it out again and cut out more cakes.  Repeat until you’ve used up all (or most) of the dough.

To cook the welsh cakes ideally you need a bakestone or thick bottomed frying pan (I use a cast iron skillet).  This helps to give ensure slow constant heat so your cakes can cook through without burning (too much – a bit of black is traditional J) but also enough heat that the cakes cook without drying out.  This balance is much harder to achieve with a normal frying pan (it’s hard enough on the proper equipment!), but it can be done.

Whatever you are using you want a fairly low heat.  I tend to find that using my biggest gas ring on not quite its lowest setting works best, but obviously this depends on your stove!

Once the pan has been on the heat a while (and so is hopefully nice and warm and even) you can add the welsh cakes.  Don’t add too many at once or you’ll have trouble turning them. Cook the cakes for about 2-3 minutes each side until they are a nice golden brown.  Then remove from the pan and place on a plate to cool.  If the cakes are still slightly gooey in the middle after 2/3 minutes each side it’s okay as they will continue to cook a little out of the pan, but if they’re still pretty raw you probably need to turn you pan up slightly and cook them a little more!

When you’ve finally cooked all the cakes and they’ve cooled a little you can sprinkle them with sugar and enjoy!

*sorry for writing this recipe in imperial measurements but this is how I was taught it.  For the vast majority of things I cook and for things I invent myself I will always use metric, but when I’ve learnt something in imperial it’s forever stuck that way in my head!

Welsh cakes - flour and spices

Welsh cakes – flour and spices

Welsh cakes - adding the sugar to the flour, spices and butter

Welsh cakes – adding the sugar to the flour, spices and butter

welsh cakes - ready to knead the raisins into the dough

welsh cakes – ready to knead the raisins into the dough

welsh cakes - cooking in the skillet

welsh cakes – cooking in the skillet

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