EATING FOR BRITAIN: LET THEM EAT WELSH CAKES
Ah, Welsh cakes.
There is nothing quite like a Welsh cake, hot from the griddle pan for stirring the soul of any true Welshman, or even, in this case a true half Welsh, Half Bengali man.
The smell is unmistakeable and the sight of the cookie cutter perfect rounds sitting on top of the hot plate or cooling on a wire rack covered in a liberal sprinkle of sugar is another that will whisk me back to childhood days.
Tony and Pat Maddocks set up their small, award winning business, Cakes From Wales a little under five years ago and still run it from their house in Southgate on The Gower Peninsular. It is a small scale operation with every cake that bears their name being made by Pat, from her own recipe and griddled by her on bake stones that have been in her family for generations. But, in that time, Tony, the businessman has seen to it that their cakes have found their way into the hands of moist eyed welsh ex-pats around the world and have even been served to an appreciative Prince of Wales.
The recipe for Welsh cakes is simple, flour, butter, currants, sugar, eggs and milk, but Pat, who has been making them since she was twelve years old and has made thousands in her day, produces some of the lightest I can recall and my first taste of one from the pan with a little butter was a stunning reminder of why I used to be such a fat child.
Pat was kind enough to let me make some of my own, which of course turned out to be grossly misshapen lumps of burnt horror. Then she quickly whipped up a batch of batter to make another childhood Welsh favourite, Piklets, a drop scone cooked on the same griddle,which, because of the ample use of baking powder, puffs up while cooking. Perfect covered in butter to accompany my second cup of tea.
After a quick stroll with Tony to show of the stunning views of The Three Cliffs, I returned to their house, undergoing building work to create a small tea room, to find that Pat had kindly packaged up a batch of cakes (including my own dreadful efforts) to take away with me.
All I can tell you is that the floor of my battered old Ford Focus is now covered in crumbs and I am definitely going to try and make these when I get back home.