You never need an excuse for Welsh Cakes here in Wales, but here's one anyway.
There are countless recipies across the internet for Welsh Cakes, but I am going to share it with you again and show you how to put them together and make a Christmassy stack for your tea table.
Step 1: You Will Need
For the Welsh Cakes:
- 225g / 8oz self raising flour - plus extra for rolling dough
- 110g / 4oz butter or margerine
- 75g / 3oz of either sultanas, currants or craisens
- 75g / 3oz caster sugar / super-fine sugar - plus extra for sprinkling when cooked
- 1 egg
- Extra butter or oil for the pan
- Star shaped cookie cutter or a template - one large, one medium and one small
- Smaller round cookie cutter or a glass, as this mix will make more than one tree (optional)
- Mixing bowl
- Rolling pin
- Wire rack for cooling
- A spoon for mixing
- A bakestone / heavy pan / hob griddle - preferably with a smooth cooking area, the heavier the better
A note on the star cookie cutters: Your largest star cookie cutter shouldn't really be larger than your biggest circular cutter. I didn't have a medium cutter, so I trimmed some off each Welsh Cake before cooking. You can also cut them freehand
For the tree:
- You will need a cakepop stick, or something similar, long enough to go through all of your Welsh Cakes plus a bit longer to affix the topper. My cakepop stick wasn't quite long enough, so I used an additional cocktail stick.
Let's make the Welsh Cakes ...
Step 2: Rub Butter / Margerine Into Flour
Place the flour and butter / margerine into your mixing bowl and using your finger tips, rub the butter / margerine into your flour until you have a "breadcrumb" consistency.
From here on, we want to handle the mix as little as possible to prevent it getting too warm and melting the butter / margerine
Step 3: Add Sugar
Add your sugar and mix in
Step 4: Add Fruit
Add your fruit and mix in with the spoon.
I use sultanas because I find currants too gritty. You can also use dried cranberries aka craisens
Step 5: Add Beaten Egg and Mix
Add a beaten egg and mix in.
Use the spoon to mix as long as you can, then get your hand in there and mix it to a dough.
If you find the dough a little too dry, use a small drop of milk and mix again until you achieve the required consistency.
Step 6: Chill
You want your dough to be chilled so it's easier to roll out and cut
Place it in a bag / wrap in clingfilm and place in refrigerator to chill for about 20mins to half hour.
Which gives you time for you to chill or - wash up
Step 7: Roll Out and Cut
Put your griddle on a medium heat to preheat
Roll out your chilled dough on a floured surface to about 5mm thick.
Cut your stars, I cut 4 of the largest stars, 2 of the medium stars and 1 little star.
If you want to make more than one tree from this mix, you can, or you can use the round cutters to make the classic Welsh Cake out of the remaining dough.
Step 8: Cook Over Medium Heat
Lightly oil your bakestone / griddle and start cooking your Welsh Cakes.
Cook over a medium heat for about 3mins a side.
Tip: Try a single one first and if it browns too quick, turn down the heat and try again with a "tester". It won't take long to get to the right temperature. I always use the " scraps" I have left to test the heat.
When cooked, place on a wire rack to cool
Step 9: Sprinkle With Sugar and Construct
Sprinkle your Welsh Cakes with the extra sugar (optional).
- Stack your Welsh Cake stars, big ones on the bottom and the medium ones on top.
- Push your cakepop stick through the middle down to the bottom.
- If you have a length poking out of the top, turn your smallest star on its side and measure it against it
- You want it to come to the top of the star without showing out of the top.
- If it's too long, cut it.
- If your stick is too small, that's OK, use a cocktail stick to add the height you need. No need to cut this, just push it into the smallest star
- Gently push the smallest star onto the top
And so ends the Welsh Cake Christmas Tree
Give it pride of place on your festive tea table
Step 10: Casualties
These stars we a little challenging and, as you can see, I had casualties.
However, I this house - they're never around long before they're eaten!