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Welsh cakes are traditional throughout Wales. They are very easy to make and delicious to eat. Here is Rhys's special recipe.
8oz/225g plain flour, 4oz/115g butter, pinch of salt, teaspoon of baking powder, 3 1/2oz/100g caster sugar, 3 1/2oz/100g sultanas (can use raisins), finley grated zest of two lemons, 1 egg.
In a large bowl mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Then add the butter and rub together until well blended and of uniform appearance like fine crumbs. Add the lemon zest and mix well. Now add the sultanas and sugar mixing them in too. Lightly beat the egg and add it to the mix. Work the mixture with a fork until it all comes together in a dough, and finish off with your hands pressing it all together.
Dust your hands with flour and then take a piece of the dough about the size of a golf ball and shape it into a thin round about as thick as one sultana (see photo). You should be able to make about 14 from the mix.
They are cooked on a griddle. You can easily do this in a dry none stick frying pan. Make sure it is clean, then put the pan on a very low heat, it must not get too hot. Place a couple of the rounds in the pan and cook on both sides for a few minutes until golden brown. Turn them frequently with a fish slice as they start to brown. This will take a little practice and some judgement, but if done correctly, they will turn out as in the photo. Once you have got the knack, it's easy! Place them on a wire cooling rack and serve either just warm or cold. For a an extra special treat, serve them with a spoon of jam and some whipped cream.
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These are a simple meat and vegetable pasty shaped like The Great Orme. They are very tasty, and delicious with gravy. This recipe makes three large pasties.
12oz (340g) lean minced steak, 6oz (170g) diced carrot, 6oz (170g) diced suede or parsnip (parsnip is best), 6oz (170g) frozen petit pois peas, 1 medium onion diced, 2 packs of ready made puff pastry, 1 small egg beaten to glaze.
Always use the freshest, juiciest, vegetables you can buy. Put the frozen peas in a bowl and cover with boiling water and leave to stand until needed. Peel and dice the carrot and suede (or parsnip) and boil in a little water until they are cooked through and tender, about 12 minutes. Drain and add the peas, then leave to cool, keeping the stock to make gravy with later.
Now fry the onion in a little olive oil until soft and then add the minced steak and cook until it is just browned and cooked through. Drain off the excess cooking oil and then add to the vegetables stirring them together well with salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cool. Roll out the puff pastry until it’s thin and even, about 3mm thick. Using a dinner plate and a small bowl or something similar, cut out three circles of pastry approximately 101/2” (26.5cm) diameter, and three more circles approximately 51/2” (14cm). When the meat and vegetable mixture is cool, spoon some into the centre of one of the large pastry circles. This will take a bit of judgement but about one third of the whole mixture. Draw up the pastry from the edge and fold up and over the mixture all the way around towards the middle leaving a circular uncovered area in the centre about four inches in diameter. Now brush egg around the edge and fit the smaller circle of pastry on the top to seal the uncovered area. Gently press it down at the edges. Now you should have the right shape (see photo). Change the shape a little with your hands to make it uneven and rugged like The Great Orme itself. Make another two in exactly the same way using the rest of the meat and vegetable mixture and the remaining pastry discs.
Carefully put them onto a lightly oiled baking sheet and brush with the egg wash all over. Cook them in a hot oven 200c /390f Gas mark 6 for about twenty minutes until well risen and golden brown. Allow to cool a little before eating, the filling will be very hot! Serve with gravy. Make the gravy anyway you like but this is how I do it. Using the stock from the vegetables, add one OXO cube (beef stock cube) and a teaspoon of Marmite (beef extract). Bring to the boil and thicken with your favourite gravy mix. I use beef gravy granules and stir them in until dissolved and the gravy is the thickness you want. Allow to cool a little and serive with the pasties.
Rhys's chocolate oat fingers
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These are a delicious crunchy treat that everyone will enjoy. They are very rich, so don't have too many and don't have them too often. Well try at least !
8oz/225g oats, 6oz/170g light muscovado sugar, 6oz/170g margarine, 9oz/250g dark plain chocolate, 1oz/28g cocoa powder.
In a large saucepan melt the margarine on a medium heat. As soon as it starts to melt add the sugar and stir until it’s all dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Don’t let it get too hot or boil. Take it off the heat and add the oats and the cocoa powder. Mix thoroughly until the oats have absorbed all the margarine/sugar and the mixture is all the same dark brown colour and dry in appearance.
Now you will need a non stick toffee tray (baking tray) approximately 11¾”/300mm x 8”/200mm x 1”/25mm. Pour the oat mixture into the tray and gently press it out using the back of a desert spoon. It will stick to the back of the spoon so use a second desert spoon to scrap if off every now and then. Press the mixture out into the four corners so that it is flat and even all the way around. Now cook in a pre heated oven for 15-20 minutes at 180C/gas mark 4/350F. Adjust the temperature and time for fan assisted ovens. Once cooked, press the mixture down slightly all the way around the edge using a spatula. Just very slightly, it will have risen during the cooking and this will make it easier to apply the chocolate.
When the mixture is cold. Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over some boiling water until it is smooth and runny. Be careful of the steam ! Then pour it over the oat mixture and smooth out using the back of a desert spoon or pallet knife. When you have got it as smooth as you can, tap the side of the tray repeatedly and you will see it settle until it’s smooth and flat. Work quickly or the chocolate will cool and start to set before you can do this. Leave it to cool.
When it’s cold and the chocolate is set hard, turn the mixture out of the tray onto a cutting board in one big slab. Then using a large cooks knife, cut the slab (chocolate side up) into strips 1”/25mm x 8”/200mm and then cut those in half to make fingers 1”/25mm x 4”/100mm. It should make about 20 fingers in all. Keep them in a cool place to keep the crunch. If it’s a very hot day, keep them in the fridge.
Rhys's Dragon Stew is a variation on Welsh cawl. A traditional dish made with meat and vegetables. Serve it hot with small boiled potatoes and crusty brown bread. A healthy and nourishing meal for children, and adults too!
1lb/450g of Welsh lamb cubed, 6oz/170g chopped leeks, 12oz/340g diced carrots, 6oz/170g diced swede, 3oz/85g cabbage thinly shredded, 1 pint of lamb stock, and chopped fresh parsely to garnish (optional).
Put all the vegetables in a casserole dish and add salt and pepper to taste. Seal lamb in a very hot frying pan with a little oil for a few seconds then add to the vegetables. Add the stock and put a lid on the dish. Cook for 1 1/2 hours in a pre-heated overn at 180c/gas mark 4/350F. Adjust for fan assisted ovens. half an hour before the end, thicken the stew with 2 table spoons of flour added to some stock ladled from the casserole dish. Mix it in a cup until smooth and lump free, then add it back to the stew stirring in well, and cook for the remaining half hour. Serve, and garnish with a little parsely if you like, and add the boiled potatoes. If you prefer not to use lamb, use chicken or beef with the appropiate stock.