After admittedly a lot pictures from our Wales trip, here’s a recipe again … a welsh recipe. It’s a recipe for one of THE traditional welsh foods. And it’s amazing – or “bizarrely fulfilling” in Jamie Oliver’s words: Those little cakes are so easy and quick to make, all the ingredients are very likely already in your kitchen – yet they’re so yummy. A mysterious transformation of ordinary things!
Although I think you shouldn’t change recipes too much that have been approved and optimized over centuries, I did a little bit of adjusting: a bit less sugar and butter and they became a little less crusty and a bit more chewy – just they way I came to love them.
Even without sentimental holiday memories those easy to make sweet little cakes are just the right treat these days, when grey and rainy autumn weather without warning descended on us … Bring some water to boil, brew yourself a cup of tea and enjoy together with some welsh cakes … and everything will immediately look a little brighter! It’s soul food! It’s cosiness!
I hadn’t heard of “mixed spice” before (Alright, mixed spices, but WHICH spices?!), but soon found out that this popular british spice blend is quite similar to what is called Lebkuchengewürz (gingerbread spice) around here and pumpkin spice in the US. If you want to make this blend yourself here’s my recipe – you’ll find 1 435 294 others in the internet:
Mixed spice blend
2 teaspoons grounded cinnamon, 2 teaspoons grounded ginger, 1 teaspoon allspice, 1 teaspoon cloves, 1 teaspoon grounded coriander, 1 teaspoon grounded nutmeg, 1 teaspoon grounded mace
225 g flour, 80 g butter, 50 g sugar (+ additional 2 tablespoons for sprinkling), 1 egg, 50 g raisins (I used sultanas, but the smaller currants are better to handle) , ½ teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice, pinch of salt
Mix flour, baking powder, sugar, mixed spice together in a bowl. Roughly cut the butter and work into the flour (For me it works good to use a fork for this step). Transfer on working surface, create a little well in the middle for the egg. Now work egg into the dry ingredients, working from the inside to the outside. If the dough is a little dry, add a bit of water. Last knead in the raisins.
Roll the dough out on working surfaceabout 1/2 cm thick. Use a pastry cutter or simply a jar or drinking glass to cut out rounds. If you have a baking stone, bake the cakes on this until they’re golden brown on each side. If not – like me – you can bake them alternatively in a standard pan. It’s important to bake them on medium heat otherwise they get to dark outside and aren’t yet cooked inside. It takes about 3-4 minutes on each side.
Transfer them to a baking rack and sprinkle with sugar on both sides. Carefully rub the sugar in a bit.
Enjoy warm, lukewarm or cold, pure, with butter, clotted cream and jam,… all of it will be perfect!