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vegan welsh cakes

March 1, 2013

Makes 18-20
Prep time: 45 mins

Vegan Welsh cakes

Vegan Welsh cakes: extreme close up

Happy St David’s Day!  Let’s do Welsh cakes.

In the part of Wales where I live unpretentiousness is considered a great virtue.  ‘There’s no side to her,’ you’ll hear people saying.  It is a big compliment, meaning that a person can be taken at face value and, therefore, can be trusted.

This post is about Welsh cakes.  Modest, unpretentious Welsh cakes.  There’s no side to them.  They are a type of drop scone flavoured with mixed spices and dried fruit.  They are everywhere here – you are never more than six feet away from one, in fact.  Hubby says he is not fond of them.  He is the only Welsh person I have ever known to say this.  It is very hard not to love a Welsh cake if you are from Wales.  It is like not loving calcium, or something.

Welsh cakes on the griddle

I am not the first person to veganise a Welsh cake.  Actually, they are very easy to veganise as the conventional recipe has only one egg for half a kilo of flour.  Provided you add a touch more milk and don’t skimp on the fat, going eggless won’t compromise the cakes’ structure.

In Pontypridd there is a famous shop in the indoor market specialising in all kinds of deviant Welsh cakes: choc chip ones, coconut ones, sandwiched together with jam and cream ones.  In my non-vegan days I was a regular there.  I think the success of that place shows the truly unpretentious nature of the Welsh cake, and of Welsh food in general: unlike in some other European food cultures there is no rigid orthodoxy about ingredients or method.  If it tastes good, it’s all good.

In homage to the Ponty Welsh cake shop I have also done a vegan version with dark chocolate chips, toasted hazelnuts and cinnamon.

Gobeithio bod chi’n hoffi!

Welsh cakes being cut out

No, a funky camera angle will not make raw Welsh cakes look sexy

Ingredients

Self raising flour, 500g, plus extra for dusting
Caster sugar, 100g, plus extra to serve
Vegan margarine, 250g
Pinch of salt
Splashes of non-dairy milk, to bind

Classic Welsh Cakes:
Mixed spice, 2 tsp
Sultanas or raisins, 150g

Chocolate Hazelnut Welsh Cakes:
Hazelnuts, toasted and chopped, 75g
Cinnamon, 2 tsp
Vegan chocolate chips, 100g

Sieve flour into bowl, add sugar and spices.  Add the margarine and rub together to make fine breadcrumbs.

Add the dried fruit / choc chips and nuts, then start adding splashes of milk until the mixture can be brought together as a fairly stiff, slightly tacky dough (try not to work it too much, it should be crumbly).

Heat up frying pan / griddle pan.  Flour a clean surface and the rolling pin and roll out the dough until it is 1cm thick.  Cut out rounds with a cookie cutter or a mug.  Dry fry over a medium heat: it should take about four minutes to get each side golden brown.  If they are cooking too quickly turn the heat down, to ensure they cook through.

Cool on a wire rack and sprinkle with caster sugar.

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From → Baking

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