04 May 2012

Recipe a Day: Welsh Cakes

I like to make these on days like Beltane since my great-grandmother was Welsh.  And they're simple and yummy. They also make good soul cakes.

You'll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour (whole wheat is always good, plus a little more for rolling
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (you can add pinch of nutmeg too, but I ran out and it's expensive here)
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper (really)
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • A few whole cloves (you can use a pinch of ground cloves if you like)
  • 2 eggs
I often put in a little more spices than this.  Estimate more instead of less.

Dump your flour in a bowl and measure your butter.  My butter comes in variously-sized blocks like this, so I just guess on the 3/4 cup because measuring butter accurately is a messy business, especially if you don't have a dishwasher.

So the butter doesn't make a huge mess on my hands or anywhere else, I coat it with flour and then chop it up directly into the bowl.  You can do this step in a food processor if you want to.

Now combine the butter and flour.  If you have a pastry thing, use that.  Mine has been sitting in storage in Seattle for more than a year, so I started with two knives.

But like usual, I decided that would take too long and switched to a fork.  I don't think you're supposed to do it this way, but it works for me.  Whatever you do, keep going till it's well-combined and looks like coarse meal.  Another way to check is to get a bit in your hand and squeeze it to see if it holds together.  If it doesn't, keep mashing.

Then add your sugar, salt, and spices and mix again.

Then beat your eggs together, add to the flour, and stir.

Till you get this.

Dump it on a lightly floured surface.

Roll out to about 1/4 inch.

Then cut circles out.

I got 11 circles with a piala that was almost four inches.  You can also just do it the easy way and cut it into squares and not have to deal with the scraps.

Preheat a griddle so it's pretty hot, but not smoking.  Grease it very lightly with butter, then add the cakes.  You can also use a cast iron skillet. I like that best, but mine is with my pastry blender.

Cook for about two minutes on one side, then flip them when they look like this.  Cook for 3 minutes, then flip back and cook one more minute.  While they're cooking, reroll the scraps and cut out the rest of the dough.  You can see the ones waiting to cook in the corner of the photo.

You're supposed to let them cool on a wire rack, but I don't have one here, so I just put them on the plate. They're not beautiful, but they're simple and delicious.  Let them sit for a couple of minutes before eating.

No comments:

Post a Comment