Growing up in Wales, I used to have Welsh cakes on a regular basis. Both my grandmothers would cook them without a recipe, just knowing exactly how much of what went into the mixing bowl. I spent a lot of time with my Nana Mary as a child, while my parents were working. She’s always been your stereotypical nan; knitted you a scarf every winter, managed to make huge family meals in a teeny tiny kitchen and gave the best cwtches (hugs) around.Sadly, my nan developed dementia a few years ago which progressed quickly following a number of falls; shes been in hospital now for over three years. She barely speaks, doesn’t recognise any of us and is a shadow of her former self. It really is such a cruel illness.A few years ago, before she became unwell but started slowing down and cooking less, my nan gave me her bakestone. This was the very bakestone she had made every Welsh cake on and my father even remembers it from his own childhood.I’ll admit, it sat in a kitchen cupboard for a long time, embarrassingly forgotten about. I pulled it out a few months back and made some Welsh cakes with Daisy. It brought back so many memories of helping my nan make them when I was a child and I hope Daisy enjoys it just as much in years to come. A lot of love is ingrained in that bakestone and it now sits on our countertop, ready to be used whenever the moment strikes.If you fancy giving Welsh cakes a go (and you’re not a Welsh grandmother who could make them with your eyes closed) here’s the recipe.
- 225g plain flour
- 85g caster sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 100g butter
- 40g sultanas
- 1 beaten egg
- splash of milk
- Measure out and combine flour, sugar, mixed spice and baking powder.
- Add the butter and using your hands, mix until it resembles damp sand.
- Add sultanas and egg, mixing until you have a dough (add a splash of milk if too dry).
- Roll dough out on a floured surface until about 1cm thick and cut out with a fluted cutter.
- Heat your bakestone or frying pan with a little butter and brown your Welsh cakes on both sides (around 3 mins per side on medium heat).
- Try not to burn your mouth after not being able to resist a bite!
These can be served warm or cold and will keep in an airtight container for a few days (not that they ever last that long!).
I’m a sucker for a celebration. If I can hang bunting and blow up balloons, I’m there. I also think it’s great to get your little ones involved with some themed activities, however big or small. We did a few things over the last few days that we would do anytime of year, but with a little valentine’s spin.
I bought a few new craft bits so we could make some valentine’s cards, which Daisy really enjoyed. Based on experience, a word of warning; do not go for a quick pee whilst your 3 year old has a pot of multi-coloured sequins to hand! I returned to the kitchen to find her not placing them on the card so gently as she had been, but showering herself in them instead, holding her very own mini confetti party. I’ll leave you to laugh at how long it took me to get those out of her hair!When Daisy was finally sequin free and looking less like she’d a night on the tiles, we decided to make some brownies. After several baking attempts in the past, I have no shame in saying that until Daisy appreciates ingredients need to be weighed and measured correctly, we will be using a ready bought cake mix. Just add an egg, water and butter you say? All hail Betty Crocker! Finally, we had a little valentines themed breakfast on the weekend. If you’ve followed me for a few months, you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of weekend family breakfasts; you can read a little more about what we do here. As always, it was nothing complicated and just thrown together in the morning. We all sat around the table, ate warm pain au chocolat and berries and laughed at Daisy dancing to Leon Bridges. It just goes to show, you don’t have to spend a fortune to celebrate and the impression it leaves lasts a long time. I’m sure Daisy will be asking to make brownies regularly and I’ll be finding sequins all over the house for weeks to come!
So considering it’s summer, I’m sat here with all the candles lit, warm pjs on and thick socks. I’m feeling very cosy, but that may also have something to do with the lovely weekend we’ve had and a belly full of pancakes.
Yesterday, the forecast was pretty good for the morning so we headed out to Hendrewennol Fruit Farm. It’s only a 30 minute drive for us and is great for little and big people alike. You can pick strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, red currants and blackberries during summer and we’ll be going back for pumpkins later in the year. They’ve had lots of visitors and strawberries were running low when we arrived, so we headed straight for Daisy’s favourites…blueberries. With basket in hand, she ran off to fill her boots (or punnet!). After we’d picked what we wanted, we headed to their cafe for some gorgeous homemade ice cream and a sit in the sun.Today’s forecast was not so good, so we made use of our delicious fresh fruit and made American style pancakes, with bacon and berries. YUM. YUM. We loosely follow this BBC Food recipe and it’s a great base for lots of tasty toppings. For the sauce, we just brought the berries to the boil, with some caster sugar and a splash of vanilla extract. Stirring well and crushing the berries up gives you a lovely, thick sauce to drizzle over your fresh pancakes. It was brilliant to see Daisy picking her own blueberries and then using them in the kitchen at home. I’m sure she’ll love doing this more and more as she gets older. A definite staple to the summer bucket list.
Ok, so this isn’t a real Key lime pie, as I didn’t have Key limes, just regular Tesco ones. Also, my tart tin was too big so it was a bit on the skinny side, but Lime Frisbee just doesn’t sound as appealing! Nonetheless, Daisy and I (mostly me!) made it work in true Masterchef style, and turned it into a ‘deconstructed’ version instead; John and Greg love a deconstructed dessert don’t they?!
This was easy to make, fun for a toddler to get involved and SUPER tasty! That’s all that matters right? Daisy’s favourite part was crushing the digestives with a rolling pin and obviously eating the finished result. Here she is making sure our ingredients were top notch! This is a fab dessert to make the day before needed as it chills overnight (or a minimum of 3 hours) and you can add the cream just before serving.
- 300g digestive biscuits
- 150g melted butter
- 1 x 397g tin of condensed milk
- 3 egg yolks
- zest and juice of 4 limes
- 300ml double cream
- 1tbsp icing sugar
- a little extra zest for decoration
- Heat your oven to 160C and then crush your digestives in a sealed bag; we used a rolling pin.
- Mix the melted butter in and then press into your tin. Mine was 25cm but a little smaller works fine too as we’ll be crumbling it up anyway.
- Bake for 10 minutes and then leave to cool.
- Put the eggs in a mixing bowl and whisk thoroughly for a minute. Add your condensed milk and whisk again and then finally add the lime juice and zest, whisking for a final 5 minutes to make sure the mixture is lovely and thick. It’ll be smelling AMAZING now too!
- Pour this into your base and bake for a further 15 minutes. Once out of the oven, chill for at least 3 hours.
- When you’re ready to serve, break into chunks and pop into your serving bowls.
- Whisk your double cream until stiff and dollop on top. Grate a little zest and dive right in.
Let me know if you give this recipe a go!