Wales and Welsh Cakes.

We just got back from a magical trip to Wales. The number of castles scattered wherever we went was incredible. Some in total ruins while others painstakingly preserved to the original designs. All there for people to walk around and through. Down to the deepest cellars right up to the tallest towers and turrets.

Cardiff Castle

 

Caerphilly Castle

Carreg Cennan Castle

 

The coastline is wild and magnificent, the little towns and villages unique and the people friendly, happy and sincere. Truly a wonderful place to visit.

We even had a drink in the pub where my husband’s pop was born. (Yes, he was born in the pub!) 

Breakfast in some places consisted of the usual continental and/or a cooked breakfast plus a plate piled high with moist and crumbly sugar dredged Welsh Cakes. In any bakery or cafe and there they were again and in grocery stores in packets of 6 or 8.

Honestly, you’d think we’d be well sick of them but noooo….we weren’t even nearly done with them.

We came across a little cookbook with traditional Welsh baking recipes and wouldn’t you know it….inside a Welsh Cake recipe. So naturally we had to buy it. My belief is that I will be making every one of the delightful treats in this book….and so to begin…

Welsh Cakes

225g plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp allspice

Pinch of salt

230g butter -cubed

115g sugar

100g currants

1 egg  – beaten with 1 Tbls milk

castor sugar to sprinkle
Sift together the flour, baking powder, allspice and salt into a large bowl. Rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir through the sugar and currants then add the egg and milk mixture and stir lightly with a butter knife until it all just comes together into a stiff dough. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 1/4 inch and then use a 5cm cookie cutter to cut into rounds.

 Heat and butter a heavy based frypan or griddle and cook the rounds for about 3 minutes on each side or until they’re golden brown.

Sprinkle with castor sugar and just you try to stop at one…


Delicious.

Enjoy…

Lamb Cawl – Happy St. David’s Day.

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Happy National Welsh Day.

My husband has some Welsh ancestory so we thought it would be nice to indulge ourselves in one of Wales’  favourite meals. Cawl.

Its a stew with lots of leek, root veggies and meat. In this instance lamb.

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So I got:-

2 Tbls oil

6 lamb chump chops (or small shanks)

2 cups sliced leek

1 cup diced pumpkin

1 medium carrot – chopped into small chunks

1 cup sliced cabbage

some herbs  i.e.  thyme, rosemary, bay leaf

salt, pepper, cinnamon

water

Season lamb with salt, pepper and cinnamon.

Heat oil in a large saucepan, add the lamb and brown on all sides. Take the lamb out of the saucepan and throw in the leeks, carrot, pumpkin and herbs. Fry for a minute or two stirring. If it gets too dry add a little water.

Return the meat to the saucepan and stir in with the veggies. Add about a litre of water, stir well, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to low, cover and leave it to simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.

Take the lid off and continue to simmer for another 30-40 minutes or until the meat is very tender and the sauce has thickened up a little.

Add the cabbage for the last 10 minutes of cooking.

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I served it with some mashed potato and toasted sourdough bread (and a glass of Shiraz)

It went down really well.

Enjoy…