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Baking

Chocolate and Ginger Welsh Cakes

traditional welsh cakes

I absolutely love Welsh Cakes, such a delicate taste and subtle sweetness. They are the perfect treat to have with tea or coffee. And these Chocolate and Ginger Welsh Cakes are truly divine.

chocolate and ginger welsh cakes

Welsh cakes are a cross between a scone and a cookie but cooked like a pancake in a hot skillet on top of the stove. They are slightly crisp on the outside but tender and crumbly inside. I love making welsh cakes because I usually have all the ingredients on hand.

I first had Welsh Cakes in Wales, years ago, during my year long adventure with my friend, Bonnie. We stayed with Bonnie’s Aunts (Aunt Betty and Aunt Betty) for a whole month in the small town of . They lived in a small village near Swansea on a hilly street lined with row houses – each one a different colour. Each day, Bonnie’s Aunts set out a proper tea for us. By 4 pm, their wood kitchen table was completely laden with a variety of utterly delicious tea items: cheese and crackers, cakes, bread and butter, fruit and devonshire cream, tea and of course, welsh cakes.

chocolate and ginger welsh cakes

Welsh cakes (or pice ar y maen – cakes on the stone, in Welsh) are so fast to whip up, you won’t believe it. They take, at the most, an hour from start to finish. They are fantastic for the beginner baker as they are so simple to make. And they have ‘homemade’ written all over them, as I can’t imagine too many bakeshops spending time cooking these up individually on a stovetop.

Try to make these cakes on the day that you want to serve them. As they only keep for 1-2 days before tasting a bit stale. You can also cut some out and freeze them uncooked until you are ready to cook some more.

chocolate and ginger welsh cakes

I love Traditional Welsh Cakes, but I was eager to try some a flavour. So, I added some dark chocolate and chopped crystallized ginger. I love eating these Chocolate and Ginger Welsh Cakes warm from the skillet. The chocolate inside is slightly molten and the ginger is soft and lightly scented.

traditional welsh cakes

The origin of Welsh Cakes is very interesting. Years ago, miners would carry freshly made cakes down into the mines. A hearty snack and a taste of home while they were working in the cold, dark mines down below. Try popping one into a loved ones’ lunch kit to brighten their day.

chocolate and ginger welsh cakes

Below are a few variations of Welsh Cakes that you can find around the country.

  1. Jam Split: Popular in South Wales, the cakes are split open and spread with jam inside:

2. Apple Dragon: Add some grated apple to the mixture to make your cakes more moist.

3. Newport Lovely Welsh Cakes made by men in the City of Newport for their girlfriends as a wedding gift or engagement gift.

4. The Welsh Mountain (Mynydd Cymreig) has two times the amount of baking powder in them, for loftier cakes.

If you try a different variation, let me know. Enjoy!

Chocolate and Ginger Welsh Cakes

Print Recipe
Serves: 15-18 Cooking Time: 10-12 minutes

Ingredients

  • 250 grams white unbleached flour
  • 120 grams butter, cold, diced
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 55 grams white sugar
  • 45 grams cyrstallized ginger, chopped fine
  • 25 grams dark chocolate chips
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 tbsp strong coffee
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom

Instructions

1

Stir together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, spices

2

Add the butter and rub into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs

3

Stir in sugar and ginger and chocolate chips.

4

Mix in the egg.

5

Add coffee until a nice soft dough is formed.

6

Roll out on a tabletop sprinkled with flour.

7

Cut out welsh cakes with any round shape approximately 7.5 to 8 cm in diameter. I used a drinking glass.

8

Heat a skillet on the stovetop on medium heat. Add a very tiny amount of butter.

9

Place a few welsh cakes in pan, with some space surrounding each one. Do not overfill skillet. You need room to flip them over.

10

When the underside is a nice golden colour, flip over and cook the other side.

11

Remove from skillet when both sides are done.

12

Let cool on a baking rack.

13

Sprinkle with demerara sugar. You can do this either in the pan while the second side is cooking, or while they are on the baking rack. Either will work fine

14

Serve warm or room temperature.

Notes

If you want to freeze some welsh cakes for later, you can either freeze some cooked welsh cakes in a ziplock bag. Or you can cut them out and freeze the uncooked cakes. To do this, cut out the welsh cakes, place them on parchment paper on a tray and freeze until firm. Then place them in a ziplock bag or plastic container, layered with parchment paper in between. To cook, simply defrost the cakes and then cook following the instructions above.

Baking

Chocolate Ginger Hazelnut Torte Recipe

chocolate ginger hazelnut torte on a plate

If you have never had a torte before, you must try this one. Made from eggs, ground nuts, sugar, chocolate chips and ginger marmalade, this Chocolate Ginger Hazelnut Torte is a treat! And so simple to make. It rises up beautifully as it bakes and then after you take it out of the oven, it slowly starts to deflate until the centre is quite sunken in. The texture is more like a brownie, than a regular chocolate cake: the torte sort of falls on top of itself and all the layers and flavours pack themselves together beautifully. This torte is delicious served with sweetened whipped cream or ice cream, if you must.

Torte, in german, means cake. But the difference is that tortes use ground nuts instead of flour. I love the combination of flavours in this Chocolate Ginger Hazelnut Torte. If you don’t have any hazelnuts in your pantry, ground almonds would work fine.

I don’t feel that it’s necessary to have dessert every evening as it wouldn’t seem special. And I think desserts should be special. I love the idea of having something to look forward to on the weekend. And a weekend sweet treat is sometimes all I need to brighten up my week. I made this  Chocolate Ginger Hazelnut Torte recently for a weekend dinner just for our family. A little chocolate boost, a mid-winter perk when the days are starting to shorten, but still seem so long and dark. This torte is the perfect end to a cozy comforting meal: whether you wish to try something new or perhaps serve a gluten-free dessert to your dinner guests, this torte will end the evening on a high note.

Let me know how this recipe turns out for you. We all think it’s one of the best flavour combinations around.

whole chocolate, ginger and hazelnut torte with wine bottle

Chocolate Ginger and Hazelnut Torte

Print Recipe
Serves: 10-12 Cooking Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 175 grams dark chocolate
  • 175 grams butter
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 175 grams granulated sugar
  • 150 grams hazelnuts, ground
  • 200 grams ginger marmalade

Instructions

1

Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius.

2

Line a 9 inch round springform pan with parchment paper.

3

Melt chocolate and butter together in microwave, in 30 second intervals, stirring inbetween. Add ground hazelnuts and marmalade. Stir and allow to cool.

4

Beat egg yolks and sugar together with mixer until soft yellow and mousse-like consistency.

5

Whip egg whites until stiff peaks are formed.

6

Add egg yolk and sugar mixture to the chocolate/butter/nut and marmalade mixture. Stir until well incorporated.

7

Now add the egg whites, in 3 stages, very carefully. Fold the egg whites in carefully in order not to knock the air out of the batter.

8

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.

9

Bake at 190 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 170 degrees celsius and continue baking for another 35-40 minutes. The cake is done when a cake tester, inserted into the middle of the cake, comes out clean.

10

When done, remove the cake from the oven and place on a rack. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then remove sides of cake pan and continue to cool. The cake will sink. this is normal.

11

enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Rachel Allen’s cookbook, ‘Bake!‘.