March 1st is St David’s Day, the patron Saint of Wales, and there can’t be a more egg-cellent way of celebrating than by making Welsh cakes – quick treats that are half biscuit, half scone and vie for the title of national cake of Wales.
Literally translated Picau ar y Maen (pronounced pick-aye ar-er mine) means cakes cooked on a bakestone. For those who don’t have one of these traditional pieces of kitchen equipment lying around – a heavy cast iron pan will work just as well. Beware though, Welsh cakes are likely to burn if you try and use a non-stick pan!
- 225g salted butter/lard
- 450g self raising flour
- 170g caster sugar
- 2 free range eggs
- 170g sultanas
- In a large bowl, use your hands to rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, eggs and sultanas. Keep mixing until you get a thick dough – use a little milk to help bind if necessary.
- Turn out the dough onto a floured board and roll out until 1cm thick, then cut into rounds using a fluted cutter.
- To cook, grease a bakestone or a heavy cast iron pan with butter and then wipe away with kitchen paper. Cook the Welsh cakes for 2 to 3 minutes until it begins to turn a rich caramel colour on the underside, then flip over and cook the same on the other side.
- Dust with caster sugar while still hot. Serve hot or cold.
Make your Welsh cakes less traditional by adding one of the following:
- A tablespoon of mixed spice to the dough
- Split the Welsh Cakes in half lengthways and add a layer of good quality jam
- Desiccated coconut in place of some of the flour
- Chocolate chips in place of sultanas