Welsh cakes are a traditional Welsh pastry that is loved all over the world. These little cakes are made of flour, butter, sugar, and dried fruits, and are cooked on a griddle or a bakestone. They are delicious and versatile, and can be eaten at any time of day. But where did Welsh cakes come from, and what is their history? In this article, we’ll explore the origins and evolution of Welsh cakes.
The Origins of Welsh Cakes
The exact origins of Welsh cakes are unknown, but they are believed to have been created in the late 19th century. Welsh cakes were initially a simple and rustic dish, made with basic ingredients that were readily available. They were often cooked over an open flame, using a griddle or a bakestone.
The Evolution of Welsh Cakes
As time went on, Welsh cakes became more sophisticated. The addition of spices, such as nutmeg and cinnamon, added a new depth of flavour. Other ingredients, such as dried fruits and chocolate chips, were also added to create new and exciting variations of the traditional recipe.
The Role of Welsh Cakes in Welsh Culture
Welsh cakes have become an important part of Welsh culture. They are often enjoyed with a cup of tea, and are a popular treat during celebrations, such as St. David’s Day. Welsh cakes are also a common souvenir for tourists visiting Wales, and are sold in many gift shops and bakeries.
How to Make Welsh Cakes
Making Welsh cakes is easy and fun. Here’s a simple recipe you can try at home:
- 225g self-raising flour
- 85g caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp mixed spice
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 50g butter
- 50g lard
- 50g currants
- 1 egg
- A splash of milk
- Mix together the flour, sugar, mixed spice, and baking powder in a bowl.
- Rub in the butter and lard until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the currants.
- Beat the egg and add it to the mixture, along with a splash of milk. Stir until you have a soft dough.
- Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it’s about 1cm thick.
- Cut out circles using a cookie cutter.
- Heat a griddle or a bakestone over medium heat.
- Cook the Welsh cakes for about 2-3 minutes on each side, until they are golden brown.
- Dust with caster sugar and serve warm.
Yes, you can use all butter instead of butter and lard. The texture and flavor may be slightly different, but the cakes will still be delicious.
Yes, you can freeze Welsh cakes. Allow them to cool completely, then wrap them in parchment paper and place them in a freezer bag. They will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Welsh cakes are a treat and should be enjoyed in moderation. They contain butter and sugar, so they are not the healthiest option. However, they do contain dried fruits and are lower in fat than some other desserts.
Welsh cakes are delicious served warm with a dusting of caster sugar. They are also great served with butter, jam, or honey. And, of course, they go perfectly with a cup of tea!
Welsh cakes have a long and fascinating history. From their humble origins as a simple and rustic dish, to their current status as a beloved snack and souvenir, Welsh cakes have played an important role in Welsh culture. They are easy and fun to make, and are sure to be a hit with friends and family.