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Welsh Cakes

MyCookbook Recipe Database
MyCookbook Member: saddotrax
Recipe Category: Bread
Recipe Preparation Level: easy
    Makes about 1 dozen cakes

    The secret to perfect cakes is the bakestone, called a planc or maen in Welsh. Essentially a thick cast-iron griddle, it heats slowly and evenly. A cast-iron frying pan or even an electric griddle will work nicely in its place. Whatever pan you use, don't overcrowd it; you'll need the extra room to reposition the cakes during cooking to avoid burning them.

    1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1/3 cup granulated sugar
    2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 stick (4 ounces) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
    1/3 cup sultanas or golden raisins
    1/3 cup dried currants
    1 large egg, well beaten

    1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until thoroughly blended. Add the butter pieces, and process until powdery, about 15 to 20 one-second pulses.

    2. Dump the mixture into a large bowl, add the dried fruits and the egg, and mix with a fork to form a firm dough. (If it appears dry, work it with your hands until it comes together.) Turn the dough out onto a clean surface, and knead it several times.

    3. Lightly floured the surface, and roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Using a 2 1/2-inch cookie cutter, cut out the disks, pressing firmly to cleanly cut through the dried fruits. Gather any leftover dough, knead briefly, reroll and repeat.

    4. Heat a lightly buttered cast-iron frying pan or griddle over medium heat. Place 3 or 4 cakes in the pan, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, adjusting the heat and repositioning the cakes until they're an even pancake-brown. Flip, and cook another 3 to 4 minutes. Continue until all the cakes are cooked. Let cool completely before serving. The cakes will keep for a week wrapped in plastic in a cookie tin.

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