We are at it again. Not entirely dessert this time but definitely a snack item. Welsh cakes are a scone/cake cross, cooked on a griddle. This recipe was first given to me by a friend from Wales. We had kids the same ages and whenever we got together we shared stories, played with the kids, and snacked on Welsh cakes. Perhaps it was the friendship, perhaps it was the ambiance, or perhaps it was just the comfort of tea and cakes; but I will always remember these tasty crumpets with great fondness. Our version adds lavender. I have changed the amounts of some ingredients over the years and adopted some things from various recipes I have found. These kids are third generation Welsh-cakers.
The kids are ready to go. Everything is laid out. 2 cups AP flour, 1/3 c white sugar, 2 1/4 tsp baking powder, pinch salt, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp mace, 1/2 c butter, 1/3 c fruit (currants is the classic fruit of Welsh cakes but we used raisins because I couldn't find any currants), 1 egg, enough milk to get the pastry to stick together (about 8 Tbsp).
In this recipe we added the lavender in the sugar. Cam poured the sugar and lavender buds in the chopper. He also pulsed the chopper while Chloe held the lid on. Revving up a chopper generates the same kind of enthusiasm as revving up a motorbike.
Chloe added the spices while Cam whisked them into the flour.
Adding the butter was fun. We grated the butter and let it sit in the freezer so it was very cold, then we added it to the dry ingredients. Cam washed up thoroughly and proceeded to enjoy the feel of frozen butter. Chloe mixed it in .
Next came the raisins.
Then the egg and milk.
One ball for each of them. Another fun part. Small boys, however, can find many uses for a ball of dough. After picking out the raisins, a ball of Welsh cake dough is excellent sculpting material.
Pat it down and roll it out to about 1/4 inch thickness. At this point I rendered my lecture on how too much handling makes dough tough and then it won't rise. So Cam proceeded to roll out the scraps to paper thin discs whence they cooked up and rose nicely. So much for stories your mother tells you.
Time to cut out the Welsh cakes. You can use any favourite cookie cutter. Size will not affect cooking time - only thickness. I used a complimentary wine glass from the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention in Niagara Falls in February. It worked quite nicely.
On to the griddle they go! I used a griddle where I could control the temperature - 300 degrees F. I have not had exemplary results on the stove-top. Burnt Welsh cakes only appeal to Hershey, our chocolate lab. 4 minutes each side gives a nice golden brown.
Dip the warm cakes in sugar on a plate and eat them warm or cold. This was a definite 2 thumbs up. 1 Tbsp lavender buds will provide a gentle, but noticeable, lavender flavour. You may want to change this to suite your taste. Auntie M prefers less lavender. I found that 1 tsp was not quite enough to taste. You don't have to dip them in sugar, although I was not able to convince the kids that this was an option. These would go well with clotted cream and currant preserves. This recipe - using the complimentary wine glass as a cutter - made 3 dozen Welsh cakes. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.