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Welsh cakes never fail to please! No fancy fillings, nor creamy tops a couple of these little darlings delight me more than words can tell. Using store cupboard ingredients, they are quick and simple to make; you can knock up a plateful in a matter of minutes. Customarily, currants are added to the pastry dough giving a fruity sweetness to these little cakes. But sometimes, and as they say,  a change is as good as a rest.

Although, it’s March  the first pointy- ears of wild garlic leaves begin to Wild Garlicappear, April is the month they are prolific and perfect for picking. The broad satin- smooth leaves are best gathered when young; their volatile garlicky-leek tones (and fumes) are at their peak. By exchanging currants and sugar for a handful of these lively leaves together with some crumbly, creamy white Caerphilly cheese, these little wonders will take on a new identity: equally charming as their sweeter cousins, yet still maintaining  their Welsh heritage. Of course,  Caerphilly Cheese can be replaced with west Wales Hafod or Cheddar, Wenslyedale, Cheshire, Lancashire  or any other well flavoured hard cheese.

Makes 12

250g self raising flour

1 teaspoon English mustard powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

50g butter

75-100g Caerphilly cheese, roughly grated

2 tablespoons finely chopped wild garlic leaves (approx. 20 leaves)

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1-2  tablespoons milk

Sift the flour, mustard powder and salt into a roomy mixing bowl.  Add the grated cheese and with fingertips lightly rub in to a fine breadcrumb mix then add the garlic leaves.  Mix in the beaten egg and bring the mixture together with a fork to form a soft dough, adding a little milk or yoghurt if a bit dry.

Turn onto a floured surface patting or rolling out to about 6-7mm thick.  Using a 6-7cm cutter or upturned glass cut into circles.

Wild Welsh WondersHeat an ungreased heavy based frying pan over a medium heat until it is hot, but not smoking.  Drop the cakes onto the hot surface and cook for approximately 3 minutes before flipping over to cook the other side until they are lightly golden on each side.  Transfer to wire rack and leave to cool.

Delicious just as they are or slathered with butter and/or chilli jam.

 

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