The Mother of All Comfort Foods: The Welsh Cake

Ah. The heaven that is the welsh cake. My first taste was in a tea shop in Ludlow with my Grans, crispy and covered in butter. Probably not the typical welsh cake but it put me on the road to glory! The BBC has a very good site on food, and give a good place to start for our own at home beauties. Their recipe however is a bit too buttery for me.

When talking about Welsh Cakes there are a few things I must mention, or risk an angry mob of Welshmen bursting through my door. First, there is an enormous and very heated debate about currants vs. sultanas (blond raisins). Personally, I adore both and would mix them together in a glorious mélange if I only good find a place here that sold currants. The second disclaimer is that these cakes are traditionally cooked on a griddle. Unfortunately for me the only griddle I have has enormous groves and heats unevenly- my first attempt took about 20 mins to cook instead of 3-5 so I have swapped over to a very heavy fry pan and that works quite well.
If you don’t want to believe me on how to cook your dream welsh cake, you can check out the EG forum specially about it to see the banter on perfect spice amounts, lard vs. butter and the always important sultana vs. currant war.

When they come out of the pan, I always sprinkle mine with a bit of nice crunchy sugar- here it is called Azucar Rubio, in the States they simply call it Raw Sugar, in England Muscovado Sugar is perfect.

Scrumdumpious Welsh Cakes:

1-cup flour, sieved
a little less than ½ cup of butter
1 egg
a big fat handful of sultanas (blond raisins) or currants
a little glug of milk
1/3 cup of sugarbutter for the pan

raw sugar for sprinkling

1. Rub the fat into the sieved flour to make crumbs. Add the sugar, dried fruit and then the egg. Mix to combine, then form a ball of dough, using a splash of milk if needed.

2. You can either roll out the dough and cut it, or as I do, simply form flat pancakes with your hands. I keep the dough as dry as possible; you just want it wet enough to be able to form the shape you need.

3. Rub your pan with butter, and keep it on a low low heat. The idea is to cook it all the way through remember. The BBC says 2-3 mins on each side until it is brown, I love the BBC but they are wrong. It always takes much longer for me. Just get them toasty brown on both sidesTake them out and sprinkle with your raw sugar and eat them quick as you can with a cup of tea. Too good to be true!

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