Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Welsh cakes

Once upon a time, I went to Wales. Well, it was May to be precise but the faraway is for its fairytale feel. My memories are of lush green, soft sun and sea mist. There were single lane roads (taken up with travelling tractors), and leeks on toast and Sunday roasts and... Welsh cakes. They were everywhere in Cardiff and the countryside - in specialty shops, in supermarkets, pubs and road side stalls. Eaten equally by builders, children and toffs in tearooms, there's something charmingly democratic about the Welsh cake.

Like a cross between a scone and a pikelet, Welsh cakes are a friendly tea-time treat. The traditional type are studded with sultanas, but you can use whatever you like - chocolate chips, orange zest, or any sort of dried fruit... Easy to whip up at short notice, these will keep in a tin to sustain you through a week of school lunches, a month of middle of the night football matches, or indeed, just morning tea.

Welsh cakes
Adapted from a recipe by BBC Food

Feel free to use whatever dried fruit you like and omit the orange zest. Head notes from the original recipe state that some make these plain and serve them split open (after cooling) and sandwiched with jam, which I imagine would be excellent too.

225g/8oz self-raising flour
110g/4oz salted butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon orange zest
handful of dried cranberries 
milk, if needed
85g/3oz caster (superfine) sugar
extra butter, for greasing

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