Its St Davids Day on Saturday, and what could be more Welsh than Pat Maddocks traditional picau ar y maen or Welsh cakes, which homesick Welsh-men can now buy online?
The cakes are a sort of cross between a Scottish girdle scone and an English rock cake, in that the mixture (flour, sugar, butter, egg) is like the rock cake, and the method dropping the mixture onto a girdle or bakestone to dry fry it is just like a girdle scone. I saw my mum making them when I was nine, says Mrs Maddocks, a trained chef, whos in partnership with her chef husband, Tony. My dad, who was a steel worker, made my bakestone. [A bakestone is actually made of steel.] You need to put it on a low gas half an hour before. The bakestone is crucial it must be right.
She started up in Pontardawe, with help from Venture Wales, in July 2006. It was always my dream, and when my three children grew up, we decided to start up in my kitchen. She can now bake an astonishing 1,000 Welsh cakes per day, crumbly and light, and flavoured with spices, currants, sultanas or Penderyn Welsh whisky, all by hand. These sell in local cafes, hotels and farmers markets, as well as online. The Maddockses have put their house on the market and are looking for something larger, where perhaps they could open their own coffee shop and larger kitchen. We sell all over the world, says Mr Maddocks. People ring about how they used to be made, and weve had thank-you cards, too.
To buy online, visit www.cakesfromwales.com. A box of 20, from £9.99, will fit through a standard letterbox.