These little icons of the Welsh table Teisen lap are as symbolic of their country as the leek and daffodil. Similar to a scone, they are often referred to as ‘bakestones’, which harks back to times past when baking was done on a hot hearth or flagstone. These days, a good heavy-based frying pan will suffice. Welsh cakes are delicious just as they are, or spread with butter and perhaps a little jam. Then again, a couple of leeks and a little cheese will turn them into a savoury teatime treat.
- Yield: 12
- 250 g self-raising flour
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 100 g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 100 g caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp to finish
- 100 g currants
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tbsp milk, plus a bit extra if needed
- Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. With your fingertips, lightly rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, then add the caster sugar and currants. Mix in the beaten egg and bring the mixture together with a fork to form a soft dough, adding as much milk as you need to do so.
- Turn onto a floured surface and use your palm or a rolling pin to pat or roll out to a 6–7 mm thickness. Using a scone cutter or upturned glass, cut out 6–7 cm circles.
- Heat an ungreased griddle or frying pan over a medium heat. It needs to be hot, but not so hot that it will blacken the cakes. Drop the cakes onto the hot surface and cook one side before turning over to cook the other. The rule of thumb is to cook for about 3 minutes on each side until a lovely medium caramel colour. If they are browning more quickly than this, your griddle is probably too hot.
- Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and leave to cool. Before serving, sprinkle with a little caster sugar.