A Sweet Escape from the Valentine’s Hype
Ah, the season of love has returned. Valentine’s Day, with its signature hues of red and pink, ubiquitous chocolates, and omnipresent teddy bears. But this year, instead of settling for the mundane, why not embrace the true sentiment of the day? Dive into the charm of authentic affection with Welsh teacakes—a treat that genuinely warms the heart.
Welsh Teacake: The Authentic Delight
Marrying the heartiness of a scone with the lightness of pancakes, Welsh Teacakes are an endearing classic. Made with a hint of milk, they’re pan-cooked to achieve a golden exterior while retaining a soft, melt-in-your-mouth center. Imagine a blend of a currant scone and a fluffy pancake, seasoned with a dash of nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon. Perfectly paired with a robust cup of English tea, their subtle sweetness and warm spices resonate with many, reminding me of my mother’s preference for less sugary treats.
Relishing these fresh off the pan, with the outer layer having a delightful crunch from caramelized sugar and butter, while the inside remains slightly soft, is an unmatched culinary experience.
A Recipe with a British Legacy
Inspired by “The Great British Baking Show,” this Welsh Teacake recipe is a gentle nod to Mary Berry’s creation. The show itself is a treat: from the impressive baking challenges contestants face, the picturesque filming location that looks straight out of a storybook, to the quirky dynamics between judges and contestants—it’s all irresistibly charming. And these teacakes? Think of them as the embodiment of that charm. So, whether you’re sharing them with a loved one or indulging solo with a side of binge-watching, you’re in for a treat.
- 2 cups self-rising flour (Alternatively: 2 cups of all-purpose flour + 2 teaspoons baking powder)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter (1 stick, 115g; cold, diced, plus a bit for the griddle)
- ½ cup superfine sugar
- ½ cup currants
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon allspice
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 beaten egg
- 2-4 tablespoons milk
1. In a sizable bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Incorporate the butter, using fingertips or a pastry cutter, until the texture is similar to fine breadcrumbs. This can also be achieved with a food processor.
2. Infuse the mixture with sugar, currants, and spices. Stir well. Introduce the beaten egg and milk gradually, aiming for a pliable yet non-sticky dough consistency. Depending on conditions, you might need between 2 to 4 tablespoons of milk.
3. Flour a surface and roll out the dough to a thickness of around ¼-inch. With a pastry cutter, fashion rounds from the dough, gathering and re-rolling any remnants.
4. Preheat a griddle or heavy pan over medium, melting a small quantity of butter. Aim to fit up to 7 teacakes at a time, depending on the size of your skillet.
5. Pan-cook each side of the teacakes for about 3-4 minutes, ensuring they’re golden and cooked through. Manage the heat as necessary, oscillating between medium-high and medium-low to prevent burning.
6. Cool on a wire rack. For optimum taste, serve them fresh, optionally with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and, of course, a comforting cup of tea.
Tips & Notes:
Yields approximately 2 dozen delightful Welsh Teacakes.