Thursday, 5 January 2012

Welsh Cakes

Recipe Number One Hundred & Forty One:  Page 331.

These little cakes proved to be a popular choice on my Facebook Poll. I have never made or tasted a Welsh Cake but, judging by the positive comments I received, I was hopeful of the results. Since all the over indulgence of Christmas, I am finding it hard to get back on the wagon. It has become perfectly normal to eat a chocolate bar each day without batting an eyelid! As mentioned in my previous entries, I have very limited willpower. At first glance these Welsh Cakes looked positively virtuous in comparison to all the calorific treats I've been tucking into. I hoped these seemingly light cakes would help ease me back into normality!

When I came to make the Welsh Cakes I wasn't really sure if I'd be able to find room to place a mixing bowl and perch my Baking Bible. I found Neil sitting at the kitchen worktop with his computer all set up and pieces of scrap paper by his side! He has just started a new job working from home. The last few months he has worked tirelessly converting the garage into an office. Once the carpet is fitted tomorrow it will be ready for him to use, so I couldn't really complain if he encroached on my worktop space for just one day. Besides, I was pleased to have the company!

I measured a lot of self raising flour into a bowl. These cakes were obviously expected to rise a great deal whilst cooking as they also required a generous amount of baking powder. As mentioned earlier, at first glance I thought these Welsh Cakes to be fairly healthy but, when I came to weighing the butter, I began to doubt my reasoning; it certainly looked like a lot of butter! I felt happier when it was time to tip in a much more modest amount of sugar. It seems you can't have a tasty treat without it either containing a lot of sugar or fat or, in most cases, a lot of both!! Now it was time for the important currants and some mixed spice. I hadn't realised how much I witter on to myself whilst baking. I found myself commenting on the lovely spicy smell, I questioned the quantity of currants; surely there should be more? I then remembered that poor Neil was trying to concentrate, so I endeavoured to keep my mouth shut! To the dry ingredients I mixed in a beaten egg along with a little milk. Though the dough was ever so dry at the start, I didn't rush to add more milk. With a bit of time and elbow grease the dough became firm and manageable. As I'm a very lazy cook and I especially loathe cleaning up afterwards, I use short cuts wherever possible. One of my pet hates is wiping sticky dough from a worktop. I now always roll dough out on top of greaseproof paper. This also means I don't have to use flour to stop it from sticking, another bonus!

Once the dough had been rolled out I could use a large cutter to shape it into Welsh Cakes. With a frying pan already greased and heated, I squeezed past Neil and his impossibly tall chair and placed four cakes into the pan. I cooked the cakes on a low heat for three minutes each side. Mary stresses not to cook them too quickly; otherwise they may not cook through. I'm sure you'd agree that a half baked cake is a bit of a let down, so I heeded her advice and didn't try to speed up the cooking process. I admit it was tempting as it was boring waiting six minutes for each batch to cook, especially as I couldn't very well leave them and get on with something else. Eventually my patience paid off and I had some tasty looking Welsh Cakes cooling on a wire rack. Neil was suddenly very interested in what I was doing. His eyes lit up when I passed him a cake still warm from the pan – it didn't last long!

Once the Welsh Cakes were cold, I sprinkled some sugar over them and quickly took pictures before grabbing one for myself. I was in too much of a hurry to stop and spread it with butter as Mary suggests. I thought my little cake was just perfect as it was! Although it hadn't bothered to rise very much, it still tasted light and fluffy. I found them to be surprisingly sweet and the hint of mixed spice brought warmth and comfort to each bite. The currants provided a sweet and mild flavour which didn't overwhelm the delicateness of the Welsh Cakes.

I would certainly try this recipe again. They were quite fun to make and very moreish. Although I have to admit that Welsh Cakes are not exactly healthy, I still believe them to be a healthier alternative to endless bars of chocolate!!
Simple but tasty! :-)


3 comments:

  1. They look really delicious Anneliese, I've never tried welsh cakes before but looking at your picture I think I will soon :-) xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Nicola :-) They are worth giving a go. We couldn't stop eating them! xxx

    ReplyDelete
  3. I just made these for the first time http://riversidebaking.blogspot.co.uk/#!/2012/11/welsh-cakes.html was great to read your experience before I started!
    Stephanie @ Riverside Baking
    x

    ReplyDelete