This is a traditional recipe for Welsh cakes that's been passed down through generations of the same family (with a few modern alterations for those who don't own traditional baking equipment like a bakestone...)
Auntie Queenie’s Welsh Cakes (picau ar y maen) – makes 14 large or around 30 small
- 225g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 100g butter softened and cut into cubes
- 75g caster sugar (plus more for dusting)
- 50g currants or sultanas
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Half teaspoon of all spice
- 3 tablespoons milk (as required)
1. Sift the flour, cinnamon, all spice and baking powder into a mixing bowl.
2. Soften the butter and cut into small chunks, add into the flour and rub together with your fingers to make a breadcrumb consistency, as if you’re making a crumble topping.
3. Add in the sugar and sultanas and mix together, add the egg to bind the mixture together to create a firm dough. It should be stiff enough to roll out, not sticky – add milk if necessary. If it becomes too sticky add a touch more flour... it should feel and roll as easily and silkily as play doh!
4. Knead very gently with floured hands, not too much or the dough will become over worked and you’ll end up with tough dry cakes.
5. Roll out the mixture to about half a cm thick and cut into rounds. There’s much debate about whether large 3 inch rounds are more traditional or the smaller 1 inch size. Both are great topped with sugar or a little homemade jam.
6. Traditionally Welsh cakes are cooked on a Bakestone (Planc), if you don’t have one of these, use a thick bottomed frying pan or griddle – or I even used a flat based sandwich toaster! Lightly butter the surface and place the cakes onto the pan on a very low heat. Cook for around four minutes on each side or until very lightly golden, not brown.
7. The secret is to take them off the heat and wrap them up in a warm tea towel for 20 minutes or so, where they will slowly finish cooking off the heat and leave you with moist fluffy Welsh cakes.
8. Serve them warm with a sprinkle of sugar or cinnamon or they’re just as good cold and keep for a few days – less traditional, but also perfect with some homemade jam or Welsh honey.
Taste Welsh goodies at free tastings today at John Lewis Oxford Street between 4.30-7.30, or visit the True Taste Market this weekend at the Southbank Centre. Follow us on @WalesWeekLondon, and watch out for #StDavidsDay walesthetruetaste.com