When we think of Wales and all things Welsh, what comes to mind?
The Queen’s Welsh corgis?
A funny language and a bonnie Prince with large ears?
And Rugby! (again)
Friday night France vs Wales. I know that I keep talking about the Rugby 6 Nations Tournament, but this may very well be an exciting match! And, of course, this calls for a special traditional Welsh treat.
These are not quite as light and airy as scones, but dense and spicy, redolent of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger with the fruity sweetness of raisins or currents in every bite. JP loved them hot off the griddle, smeared with butter and jam. I can see them, avec ou sans the currents, eaten with a sharp cheese. Perfect!
8 oz (225 g) flour + flour for kneading
4 oz (125 g) butter
3 oz (75 g) sugar + sugar for dusting
2 oz (50 g) currents
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground ginger
1 large egg + milk to bind if needed
(This recipe can be doubled. As is, I made 11 cakes.)
Place the flour, sugar, currents, baking powder and the spices into a large bowl. Whisk or stir to combine.
Cut the butter into cubes and toss in the dry ingredients. Then rub the butter and flour together until the mixture resembles sand or cornmeal.
Beat the egg lightly in a small bowl, then stir quickly into the flour/butter mixture until it all pulls together into a ball of dough. If there are clumps of dry left that don’t cling to the dough, then add milk, a little at a time onto the dry and stir again, until you have moistened all of the ingredients.
Scrape the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead very quickly until you have a smooth, homogeneous dough.
Roll the dough out to a thickness of about ¼ - to a slight ½-inch (½ - a slight 1 cm). Cut out circles (I used a 2 inch / 5 cm cutter).
Heat a griddle or a heavy-bottom frying pan over medium heat – if you have the heat too high, the cakes will cook too quickly on the outside leaving you with an undercooked center.
Using a paper towel or a brush and soft butter or margarine, quickly and lightly butter the surface once the griddle or pan has heated up. Place several Welsh cakes on the hot surface and allow to cook for 2 minutes. You will see the bottom cook, and when you take a peak underneath, you will see them golden brown.
Flip the cakes and cook on the other side for another 2 minutes. They will be a deep golden color on both sides.
Remove the cooked Welsh cakes onto a plate, sprinkle with sugar and serve hot. With butter and jelly.
Now sit back, enjoy your Welsh cakes with a cuppa and watch France win! Allez les Bleus!