Friday, 14 February 2014

Food of Love

T-shirt - Zoe Karssen

'Tis the Feast of Saint Valentine Today, allegedly the most romantic day of the year. Although, quite when the notion of a £20 Meal for Two became the height of romanticism, I've no idea. I'm having fillet steak tonight and
a bottle of our favourite red wine (The Chocolate Block, Boekenhoetskloof - divine). It will be cooked by Mr. Wren on what has become my annual night off the cooking.
For the two miniature loves-of-my life, I thought I'd knock up a Valentine's themed after school treat and there's nothing quite like a plate of warm, spiced Welsh cakes to warm you up on a wet, wintry afternoon. I made mine with white spelt flour as I'm trying to cut down our wheat intake and spelt is easier on the digestion (ooh, there's a romantic notion!) I also had run out of caster sugar (I know - 'what self-respecting baker runs out of caster sugar?'), so I substituted light soft brown sugar and it seemed to work fine. A little darker than usual, but delicious. And the Valentine's twist? Heart shaped cutters of course!

Valentine's Welsh Cakes
(makes about 20)

225g white spelt flour 
4tsp baking powder (or substitute the spelt for self-raising)
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
75g caster sugar (ideally!)
110g unsalted butter
110g mixed dried fruit ( I used currants & sultanas)
1 large egg, beaten
a little milk (if needed)
a little extra butter

-Sift the dry ingredients together into a large bowl, grate the butter in and rub together until roughly crumbled.
-Add the dried fruit and mix
-Add the egg and mix to a dough adding a little milk if too dry
-Roll out to 5mm thick on a lightly floured work surface and cut out your little cakes, re-rolling until all the dough is used.
-Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and grease with some butter-smeared kitchen paper
-Cook the cakes in batches for about 3 minutes a side, taking care that they don't brown too quickly - they should be browned on the outside, but cooked through. 
-Serve warm, sprinkled with extra sugar (usually caster, but I used icing) as you breathe in the warming cinnamon fug that fills your kitchen.

Enjoy! Happy Valentine's Day - may your bellies and hearts be swelled by good food and true love!

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