My first Welsh cake was in Scotland. Naturally.
My best friend at the time had the most amazing cook for a mum, and one morning; probably after a particularly rowdy sleepover, we were given these buttery, smooth, sweet stacks of happiness. Her mum was Welsh but somehow my friend had ended up looking ridiculously Italian. A natural tan is a mythical thing in Scotland.
I remember the Welsh cakes as though it were yesterday, and I’ve been thinking about recreating them for so long; but I can never bring myself to try to recreate recipes exactly. I’m too scared that I’ll ruin the memory.
But I had committed myself to cooking some real British classics, so I decided to a do a twist on this wonderful memory and spruce it up with some thyme – don’t ask me why – it fortunately worked wonderfully with the orange, brown sugar and pomegranate flavours.
Those pomegranates are a whole other story, perhaps when I’ve had a couple of wines I’ll let you in on it!
Let’s get down to Biz-nis
For the Welsh Cakes – Firstly don a Dragon related item, preferably in the shades of Green, red and white.
You ready? Good! Let’s do this.
125 grams plain flour
120 grams whole wheat flour
65 grams brown sugar
2.25 teaspoons baking powder
.25 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
.125 teaspoons of freshly ground nutmeg
65 grams butter (unsalted and just below room temperature)
1 egg beaten
4/5 tablespoons whole milk
Thyme 2 stalks
Sift the flours, sugar, baking powder and spices together in to a bowl or on to a clean counter top.
Cube the butter, and pinch into the flour mix. Literally pinch the butter into the flour. Midway through; halfway to doughville, add the thyme leaves (not stem) and peel. and continue punch and lightly kneading until a dough is formed.
Roll the dough out to a 1.5 cm thick round and use a round cookie/scone cutter to cut out to your preferred size. Each time you re-roll the dough, make it slightly thicker. By a mm or two at most, every time you roll the rising agent becomes less effective.
Heat butter (or oil of some low flavour at a push!) in fry pan over a medium/high heat.
Cook for 3/4 minutes each side or until golden.
1.5 pomegranates worth of fruit (discard the outer)
Juice of half a blood orange
0.25 of a cup brown sugar
0.25 cup of water
Add all the ingredients to a small saucepan, heat on a medium heat stirring consistently until bubbling. Reduce to a low heat and cover, add more water if needed. Stir every so often until mixture is thickened, remembering that it will thicken as it cools as well.