I'm no expert but lots of people ask me why, when they bake a Welsh Cake it goes wrong. Honest answer I'm not 100% sure but I can make a few suggestions.
1. Get your hands on a good recipe!
If your Nan, Mum, and Auntie all follow the same one then chances are its a pretty good one.
2. Cast Iron!
I have no technical knowledge how it works and why, but it dose!
You ideally need a cast iron bake stone or cast iron based saucepan. One that has ideally been loved and well looked after so it has a nice non stick surface built up through use. This is called seasoning, and I don't mean salt and vinegar. You need to read the instructions for your pan but I would do it by oiling the pan, heating it up to a high temperature, then wiping off any excess oil, but like I said, follow your pan instructions and don't leave it unattended!
So you have the recipe and the pan!
3. Next liquid.
Regardless of what liquid is in your recipe (water or milk probably) add it gradually. Each mix will be slightly different. You want the mix to come together nicely but not be too wet and sloppy. If its sticking all over your fingers its probably a bit on the wet side. If there are loads of crumbly bits its probably too dry. You want to be aiming for a nice soft dough that stays together but isn't sticky and messy!
4. Rolling out is the easy bit.
Don't go too thick or too thin. I personally go for about the thickness of two pound coins, about 6 -7mm. Make sure your surface is well floured if your dough is on the sticky side, otherwise your lovely even cut dough will stick like ...... to a blanket and your Welsh Cakes will become a squished mess!
Ok so you have a lovely soft rolled dough, now for the cooking bit.
5. Hot, Hot Hot or Not!
Your Griddle (bake stone, frying pan, or what ever you choose to use,) needs to be the right temperature. This is the bit that seems to scupper most people I think, as they burn them or they splodge out all over the place and don't rise.
I normally aim to cook mine at about 180'c, now I only know this because I have am industrial hot plate with a thermostat! If I use my bake stone then I heat it up to quite a hot temperature, then cool it back down to medium. Don't touch the pan/griddle but if you hold your hand near the surface you can feel that its a nice heat without being searing. Fingers crossed you're now ready to get the Welsh Cakes on to cook!
6. Cooking TIME!!!
Grab your pallet knife or spatulous and get cooking! About 4 minutes on both side should do it but again this can vary. Hopefully your cakes will start to rise nicely as the temperature of your hot plate is good. Not too hot so you burn them, or too cool so they go all flat and look more like Welsh Pancakes. Once they rise to about double the thickness, its time to flip them over. You're looking for golden brown on both sides and they need to be firmly spongy to the touch. There isn't a more technical way of explaining that I'm afraid, but it will make sense when you feel your cooked Welsh Cakes!
7. Remove you cakes from the heat, sprinkle with a bit of sugar and ENJOY!
Hope all that makes sense and you enjoy having a go yourself. As I said I'm no expert but I have made quite a few now, so fingers crossed my tips help you crack making and baking some yummy Welsh Cakes at home.
I'm Kerry 'aka'