Welsh Cakes or (Picau ar y maen)
( MAKES about 20 )
Welsh cakes look like they are a cross between a biscuit, a scone, and a pikelet but they are truly unlike any of these things when it comes to taste and texture. They are the size of thick cookie, made from ingredients similar to a scone, but they are cooked like a pikelet/pancake on a griddle, they are not baked. They are sweet but not overly so the sweetness comes from the fruit, Welsh Cakes are an example of a unique and traditional food of Welsh, and every one has a family recipe, and this is recipe i grew up eating, my mother still makes them this way, i make them for my family. Made from simple pantry items like flour, sugar, milk and butter, Welsh Cakes are considered a special treat since they take a great deal of time and effort to make. Traditionally they were cooked over a hot bake-stone but iron griddles were later used and are now the predominant method used to cook them.
- Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the sugar and mixed spice. Add the butter to the bowl with a pinch of salt.
- Use your hands to rub it all together until you get a fine breadcrumb consistency.
- Toss in the dried fruit, and then make a well in the centre of the mixture.
- Beat the egg and milk together lightly. Pour in to the well and, use your clean hands to pat and bring the mixture together until you have dough. It should be fairly short, so don’t work it too much.
- Put a large heavy-bottomed non-stick frying pan on a medium heat
- While it’s heating up, dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with flour and roll the dough out until it’s about 1cm thick. Use a 5cm pastry cutter to cut out as many rounds as you can. Bring the remaining scraps of dough together, then roll out and cut out a few more.
- To test the temperature, cook one Welsh cake in the pan for a few minutes, if the surface is pale, turn the heat up a little; if it’s black, turn the heat down – leave for a few minutes for the heat to correct itself, then try again. When you've got a golden cake after 4 minutes on each side, you're in a really good place and you can cook the rest in batches...
- As soon as they come off the pan, put them on a wire rack to cool and sprinkle them with caster sugar. You can serve them just like this, or alternatively you can butter them and add jam.