Every time we make this Welsh cakes its all I can do to make sure some reach the cooling rack, they are usually enjoyed, warm straight from the griddle, but if you do have a few leftover, they are best served warm and this rarebit topping is ideal for a quick lunch or late supper. Traditionally made to celebrate St. David’s Day, Welsh cakes are typically sweet with the addition of dried fruits, but we love to make a savoury version.
The story of Thelma Adams who founded Caw Cenarth Cheese, caught my eye recently. An incredible lady who showed her frustration with regards to the difficulties milk farmers experienced in 1984 by sitting in a bath tub full of milk which was driven around her local town. There’s a picture of her on the label of their traditional Caerffili. I bought a packed with this recipe in mind, but to be honest, the cheese is so delicious, it’s worthy place is centre stage of a cheese board as it really needs no adornment. Young, fresh and creamy, I have already ordered some more.
It is doubtful that ‘Welsh Rarebit’ originated from Wales but it could have been associated with a Welsh dish of baked cheese, that has been discovered from the 1500’s.
For my recipe to make 10 cakes using a 7.5 cm cutter, you will need…
175g Self- raising flour
85g Butter cut into cubes
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
1 medium free range egg & 1 tablespoon milk – beaten together
Measure flour and butter into a bowl and rub together to form breadcrumbs or whizz in your food processor. Add celery salt and mustard powder. Mix together.
If you find it easier, remove mixture from the processor and put into a bowl. Make a well in centre. Add egg and milk to bring mixture together and form a dough, if you mix in the machine, take care not to overwork.
Preheat your griddle on AGA simmering plate or conventional hob. Grease lightly with cold pressed, organic sunflower oil.
Roll dough out on a floured board to a thickness of 5mm (1/4 inch) and stamp into rounds. Cook in batches on griddle, turning often to ensure even cooking.
If you don’t have an AGA or griddle simply use a heavy based, ideally non stick frying pan on medium heat.
Enjoy warm with butter and a pot of tea. OR top with Welsh Rarebit and grill or place in a half size tin and hang on the first runner of your AGA roasting oven.
For the rarebit topping:
A finely chopped leek gently sauteed or roasted red onion with cider apple vinegar
175 g grated Welsh cheese we used Thelma’s Traditional Caerffili from Caws Cenarth Cheese
25 g softened butter
30 ml milk
1/4 teaspoon mustard
Cook the leeks or onions gently so that they are soft and melting but not brown. In a bowl mix the remaining ingredients together so that they can be easily spread on to the Welsh cakes.
Cut each Welsh cake in half and add the onions and either spread the rarebit mixture or spoon it on top.
Place under a hot grill to bubble and serve immediately.