Although I am English, I’ve always felt a connection to Wales. My Grandad on the Mothers side grew up in Merthyr Tydfil and with his family, moved to Wolverhampton with the decline of the steel and coal industries. There he met my Nan and the rest as they say is history. It was by coincidence that after being born in Wolverhampton, I ended in a South Wales Secondary School where I picked up a slight version of the gorgeous Welsh accent which, although long since replaced by my London tones, to this day still reminds me of home.
Although my Nan was not from Wales, she made the most amazing Welsh Cakes! Unfortunately her recipe departed with her a few years ago but here is my version. It is not quite accurate as after searching my local area for lard, it seems you can’t buy it in Geneva so I have replaced it with butter. Also, instead of using the traditional flat griddle pan I have used a heavy based frying pan as my Nan’s griddle is at my parents house over 600 miles away but they still tastes delicious, or as we used to say at school ‘that’s lush that is’!
What you need…
220g plain flour
85g caster sugar (plus a little extra for dusting)
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
100g butter, cut into small pieces plus extra for cooking (please do use 50g lard and 50g butter if you can get your hands on some lard and the extra for cooking should also be lard)
One beaten egg
A drop of milk
Start by putting the flour, sugar, mixed spice, baking powder, salt and butter into a mixing bowl and rub in the butter until it’s a crumbly consistency then stir through the currants. Gradually add the beaten egg blending together the crumbs. If you still need more moisture once this is done, add a little milk but not too much. The dough should be like shortcrust pastry dough. Roll out onto a floured surface and using a pastry cutter, cut into rounds. I used a 6cm cutter which made 12 cakes. Heat the butter or lard over a medium low heat in a traditional griddle pan, a heavy based frying pan will do if you don’t have one, and cook on both sides until golden brown. This should take about 4 mins each side. Remove and dust with sugar to serve. These are delicious warm or can be served cold but either way I like mine with a hot cup of ‘coffi’. Archwaeth da!!