I'm baking for a cake sale at church on Saturday, so I thought I would share the recipe for Welsh Cakes that I use.
As children, we used to go and stay with Granny George in South Wales, and the highlight of each visit was enjoying Welsh Cakes hot off the bakestone. Mum cooked them for us at home too, but something about being in Granny's kitchen and being on holiday has a particular resonance. On the odd occasion that Granny looked like she wasn't planning to make a batch, then a request for a trip down to High Street to buy Welsh Cakes at the bakers would always result in some being made! I can remember the look on her face at the thought of purchasing shop-made Welsh cakes - priceless!
Granny George doesn't get much opportunity to make Welsh Cakes these days, so I thought it would be nice to share the recipe so that you too can enjoy their hot-off-the-bakestone deliciousness! You don't need a bakestone (though do use one if you are lucky enough to have one!), a griddle or heavy frying pan works just as well. If you are vegetarian, the substitute the lard with a hard vegetable fat instead.
One last tip is that I often make 2 quantities of dough together. I then cook one straight away, and place the other in the freezer for a quick cake emergency. The dough can be thawed out and cooked quickly for fresh cakes another day. That said, a batch really doesn't last very long, so if you are a family of 4, then make double quantities anyway! The picture below is of a double batch being cooked.
Granny George's Welsh Cakes
8oz (225g) Self-raising Flour
2oz (55g) Butter
2oz (55g) Lard
3oz (85g) Granulated Sugar
Pinch of Salt
2oz (55g) Currants
3/4 tsp Mixed Spice and Nutmeg
1 Large Egg, beaten
Small amount of Milk (may not be needed)
Small amount of Caster Sugar for dusting the finished cakes
Rub the butter and lard into the flour, sugar and salt, until they resemble small breadcrumbs. Stir in the spices and currants. Mix to a pastry-like dough with the egg. If the mixture doesn't form a nice ball add a very small amount of milk until it comes together nicely.
Roll out the dough on a floured board to a thickness of 0.25in (0.7cm). Stamp into rounds with a scone or biscuit cutter. Grease your bakestone (griddle or frying pan) and cook on a low to medium heat until the fruit appears to sink into the dough (this is really the dough rising around the fruit) and the bottom is a pale golden brown. Carefully turn the cakes over and cook the second side until it is the same colour - making sure that the dough is cooked through. Remove from the heat and make stacks on a plate, sprinkling each layer with caster sugar.
Enjoy them at their best, while they are still warm! Thank you Mum and Granny George for all of the hundreds of batches of Welsh Cakes you have made us over the years. I hope that our children will enjoy them just as much as we do. xxx