Baking has recently taken over the uk. The BBC is overwhelmed by baking shows that look for the best home baker, the best non-professional bakery, the best regional baked good… the list goes on. As a big fan of baking, I love these shows! They are introducing me to different techniques and flavour combinations that I otherwise wouldn’t have been confident enough to try. While there are lots of different variations of baked goods, I rarely come across something I had never heard of before. That was until I saw a show focusing on a bakery that only makes Welsh Cakes. I had never heard of welsh cakes before. Being something new, I had to try my hand at them.The idea behind a Welsh Cake is a baked good that you can make with minimal ingredients and time to be served with a cup of tea. Instead of baked, they are griddled which meant you didn’t need to own an oven. Like shortbread, they are made with minimal ingredients making Welsh cakes a relatively cheap treat. It is the ideal baked good for the ‘on-no-someone-is-coming-over-any-minute-and-I-haven’t-got-anything-to-feed-them’ moments. You can go from a pile of ingredients to cooked cakes in 20 minutes or less.
The best way I can think of describing a Welsh cake is as a scone meets a pancake. They really are everything they claim to be: a quick, easy snack to make that is seriously easy.
Makes 16 Welsh cakes
- 2 1/4 cup flour
- 1/3 cup castor sugar (use 6 tbsp if you only have granulated sugar)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup shortening + a little more for frying
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1 egg, beaten
- splash milk (if necessary)
- In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and the pinch of salt.
- Dice the butter and shortening into cubes.
- Add the fats to the flour mixture and combine using a pastry cutter until the butter and shortening are evenly distributed. You will end up with a course mixture that resembles a pastry base with a lot of flour.
- Add the raisins and mix until they are evenly distributed.
- Make a well in the centre of the batter and crack the egg into it.
- Mix the egg into the flour by using a knife to cut in through. At this point, the dough should be starting to come together.
- If necessary, add a touch of milk to make the dough form. Ideally you won’t need the milk so try to be sparse with it.
- Roll the dough out on a floured surface until it reached thumb thickness.
- Cut out the circular welsh cakes using cookie cutter or a tumbler. Re-roll the scraps to get the most out of the batter. I ended up with one hand made (and lumpy) welsh cake that used up the end of the scraps that were too small to be rolled.
- Put a heavy frying pan on medium heat and grease with a little shortening Don’t use butter here as it will burn.
- Once the pan is hot, add as many welsh cakes as it will hold.
- Cook until the bottom is a lovely golden brown, about 3 mins.
- Flip the welsh cakes and (again) cook until brown.
- Repeat until you have a nice pile of yummy welsh cakes. Add shortening as necessary.
- Try to serve the cakes hot with butter and jam. Store leftovers in a dry tin.