I don't generally enjoy baking unless I'm making something for someone else. I don't have much of a sweet tooth (unless we're talking about chocolate, which is an entirely different story), and I don't like being lumbered with tins full of baked goods that I don't want to eat. Anyone want to come over for cake?
This week I had a reason to bake. I'm back at my parents' house for the weekend, and since it was my Dad's birthday on Wednesday, I came bearing stacks of Welsh cakes. Since he's Welsh and all. His Mum used to make Welsh cakes for him every weekend when he was a kid, so I thought I'd help him relive his youth through his stomach. It was nice to cook something from my childhood - my Granny often made these for me and my brothers too.
Welsh cakes traditionally contain raisins or currants, but since my Dad doesn't like dried fruit, I left these out. If you want to, you can include around 85g of raisins. Or, you can split them in half and fill them with a thin layer of jam to make little sandwiches. I have no idea how my Granny used to manage this, since they're very thin and quite brittle, but feel free to give it a go. I decided to skip this step, since I didn't think that a plateful of many many broken Welsh cakes would make a very attractive photo.
These are really easy to make, just make sure you have the pan on a really, really low heat, otherwise you'll end up with undercooked middles and burnt outsides. You want a nice golden colour. Also, roll them out nice and thin, because they puff up a little during cooking (mine were on the thick side).
The best way to eat these is dunked in a cup of tea, but that might just be my way of combining the Welsh and English parts of my heritage.
Recipe adapted from London Eats
Makes around 12 cakes
225g self-raising flour
85g caster sugar
85g currants, optional
½tsp ground nutmeg
½tsp ground cinnamon
Rub the flour and butter together with the tips of your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and currants (if using). Add the egg, and knead for 1-2 minutes until the mixture comes together into a dough. If it is too dry, you can add a tiny splash of milk (I didn't need to).
Turn out the dough onto a floured surface, and roll to ½cm thick. Use a round cutter to cut the dough into circles.
Put a griddle pan or frying pan over a medium heat, and grease it very lightly (I used spray oil, which worked perfectly). Once it has warmed up, turn the heat down to low and add 3-4 of the Welsh cakes. Cook for around 5 minutes each side, until the cakes are golden brown and just about firm (but they will continue to firm up as they cool). Transfer to a cooling rack, and continue to cook the Welsh cakes in batches.