I took the opportunity on my recent visit home for Thanksgiving to try out a recipe for Welsh Cakes in preparation for this year’s International Festival. After making two batches, the first of which was devoured shortly after leaving the griddle, I can safely pronounce them a rousing success!
What is great about them is that they are easy and quick to make; once you make them a few times, it only takes about 35 minutes from start to finish. The ingredients are also simple to come by: nothing far out of the ordinary.
Makes 9 squares.
- 1 cup self-rising flour
- 1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, refrigerated
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup caster sugar
- 1/3 cup raisins or currants
- Zest from half a lemon
- 1 teaspoon of mixed spice
- A pinch of salt
- Sift the flour, mixed spice, and salt into a bowl. Cut up the stick of butter into chunks. Then press the butter into the flour mixture by hand or pulse it a few times in a food processor. It should be sort of crumbly. Add in the caster sugar, lemon zest, and raisins.
- Crack the egg into a ramekin or small cup and beat it with a fork until the yolk is mixed with the whites. Stir the egg into the flour-mixture. If the dough seems too dry, add a small amount of milk. It should be firm and slightly sticky.
- Roll or press the dough onto a floured surface to approximately a 1/4 inch thick. Personally, I find pressing it into a large square and cutting into 9 pieces is easiest, but you can also use a round cutter.
- Cook the cakes on a medium-hot griddle or heavy frying pan for about four minutes per side. They should be golden on both side and soft in the middle. Then dust with caster sugar.
- Mixed Spice: Mix together 2 teaspoons allspice, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Add in 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon each cardamom and coriander.
- Caster sugar: This is super-fine (but not powdered) sugar. All you need to do is take regular granulated sugar and stick it in a food processor or blender for a few seconds. At $5 a pound at the supermarket, it’s a lot cheaper this way.
- Self-rising flour: This is easy to make as well. 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1.5 teaspoons baking powder. That’s it!