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Welsh Recipes Page
Image: Welsh treacle toffee
NOS GALAN GAEAF RECIPE
Treacle toffee is called 'losin du' in South Wales
and is often traditionally made at Halloween...
225g black treacle
225g demerara sugar
1 tbsp butter
After melting the butter in the bottom of a
saucepan add the treacle and the sugar.
Slowly bring the mixture to a boil, turn down
the heat and continue boiling on a low flame
for about ten minutes. Test the mixture by
pouring a few drops into a cup of cold water.
If the mixture sets instantly - it's ready!
Pour the toffee into a greased rectangular tin.
When almost cold, cut the toffee into squares.
When completely cold tip out of the tin
and break into squares (carefully!)
Image: Bannock bread
In the British Isles and Ireland, until the Norman
French conquest led to enclosures & the smashing
of an independent peasantry, great festivities
attended the cutting of the last harvest sheaf.
St. Michael's Day on September 29th shared many
features throughout the Celtic world, including
the making of Struan Micheil (Michael's Bannock).
The Struan Micheil was a special cake, like a
heavy bread, and was made from the different
types of grain harvested during that time of
year from all around the surrounding area.
Large round loaves were marked with deep crosses
& cooked in wood ovens fired by "special" woods:-
oak or rowan, with blackberry bramble kindling.
In Ireland, the bannock is typically made from a
wheat flour, but barley was used more in Wales.
Bannock loaves provided a main staple food and
were eaten at feasts as well as all daily meals
and were the prime form of breads and cakes.
At harvest the women baked and stored as many
loaves or cakes as they had flour to cook.
All September, they cooked enough bannock loaves
to supply them throughout the harvest season, the
coming Winter. and during most of the Spring.
Just like in the retained traditions of the East,
the baker would imbue each cake with a blessing
during every stage of making the bannock: mixing
the ingredients, kneading the dough, leaving it
to proof, baking the cake, and a final special
blessing if it was to be given as a gift.
The day would be filled with the sights and sounds
of processions, songs to St Michael, and games in
the afternoon that the entire village attended.
Early in the evening, all would then return to
their family homes to enjoy dancing to music,
and the exchange of gifts.
1 Cup Barley flour
1 Cup Wheat flour
1/2 Cup Rolled Oats
1 Cup White Sugar
1/2 to 1 Cup Sultanas or White Raisins
1 1/2 Cup Buttermilk
2 tbsp. Baking Powder
2 tbsp. Baking Soda
1 tbsp. Coarse Ground Salt
1 tbsp. Allspice
1 tbsp. Cinnamon
1 tbsp. Cloves
1 tbsp. Nutmeg
Gas Mark 400 Fahrenheit or 200 Celsius for 20-25 minutes.
Electric Oven 375 Fahrenheit or 190 Celsius for 40-45 minutes.
In a large bowl, sift both flours fine.
Add salt, baking powder and soda to sifter.
Re-sift mixture of flours, salt & baking soda;
then add the spices and sift.
Remove sifter and add next set of ingredients
by tossing in the rolled oats, sugar & sultanas.
Slowly add the buttermilk and mix by hand
until the mixture forms a ball.
Next, turn the dough out onto a floured board.
Knead, turn 50-60 times, re-flouring as needed.
You can make a large loaf with the mix, or split
it into two medium cakes. Separate the dough
into small rounded balls and then flatten it
into a small round flat cake 3/4 inch thick.
For medium or large sized loaves, score the
top of each cake with a cross. Bake as above.
Image: prize winning custard tarts recipe from Wales
CUSTARD TART RECIPE
from prize-winning Mrs Valerie Wood-Gaiger MBE
butter, for greasing
3 free-range egg yolks
125g/4½ oz caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped out
175ml/6fl oz full-fat milk
225ml/8fl oz double cream
300g/10½ oz ready-rolled puff pastry
plain flour, for dusting
icing sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease
the wells of a 12-hole muffin tray with butter.
2. In a pan, heat the egg yolks, sugar and
cornflour over a low to medium heat, whisking
continuously until thickened and well combined.
3. Add the vanilla seeds, then add the milk and
cream in a thin stream, whisking continuously,
until the mixture is thick, smooth and well combined.
4. Continue to stir the custard mixture until it
comes to the boil, then remove from the heat and
cover the surface with cling film. (This prevents
a skin from forming on the custard.)
5. Roll out the puff pastry onto a clean work
surface lightly dusted with flour and icing
sugar. Cut the pastry in half and place one
sheet on top of the other. Roll the pastry
sheets up like a Swiss roll and cut the roll
into twelve slices.
6. Lay each of the rolled pastry slices flat onto
the work surface and roll out into 10cm/4in
discs using a rolling pin.
7. Press a pastry disc into each of the wells
of the prepared muffin tray. Divide the cooled
custard equally among the pastry cases.
8. Transfer the muffin tray to the oven and bake
the tarts for 18-20 minutes, or until the
custard has set and is pale golden-brown and
the pastry is crisp and golden-brown.
Allow to cool in the tin.
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