Jane's Spring Recipes
WELSH LEEK BROTH OR CAWL CENNIN
1 oz butter
6 leeks, washed, trimmed and cut in to approx 1 inch pieces
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 carrot, peeled and cubed (optional)
1-1.5 pints of chicken stock or water
Salt and pepper to season
1-1.5 pints of milk
1 dessert spoon chopped fresh parsley
First take a saucepan and melt the 1 oz butter in it at a gentle heat. Then add all the vegetables: the leeks, potatoes and carrot to the butter and begin to cook them gently until soft but not brown.
Then take the chicken stock or water and add it to the vegetables and some salt and pepper to suit your taste. Bring this all to the boil, then let it simmer for 30 minutes (and put the saucepan lid on) until the vegetables are well cooked and tender.
Once this has been achieved, add the pint to a pint and a half of milk, and heat the mixture thoroughly but do not allow it boil. Next, stir in the parsley and serve into bowls accompanied by bread of your choice. It's also worthwhile adding a little grated cheese or bits of crispy fried bacon to the broth if so desired.
BARA BRITH OR FRUIT LOAF
10 oz mixed dried fruit
2/3 pint hot tea (no milk)
3 oz soft brown sugar
Grated rind of 1 lemon
12 oz self-raising wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 large egg
The first thing to do is to prepare the mixed dried fruit the night before making the whole recipe. You will need to put the 10oz portion of mixed dried fruit and soak it in the 2/3 pint of hot tea in a mixing bowl or something similar. The mixture should be covered and left to stand until the next day when you're ready to begin making the recipe in earnest.
Set the oven for 350 deg F or 180 deg C or Gas Mark 4. Meanwhile grease and line a 2Ib loaf tin or cake tin. Next strain the dried fruit and set the liquid aside.
Mix together the fruit with the rest of the ingredients: 3oz soft brown sugar, grated rind of 1 lemon, 12 oz of self raising wholemeal flour, 1 teaspoon of mixed spice and 1 large egg.
Then add a little of the liquid that has been set aside until the whole of the cake mixture resembles a dropping consistency. Pour the mixture in to a cake or loaf tin and bake for 45-55 minutes until it is risen and firm to the touch. Let the cake cool, and it can be served with butter and or jam and it makes for the perfect snack or pudding whatever the time of day.
225g grated mature Cheddar cheese
4tbsp beer or ale
1tsp of English mustard
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper as required
Cayenne pepper (optional)
4 slices of white or brown bread
Find a heavy-based saucepan and then place the butter, cheddar cheese, beer, mustard and Worcestershire sauce inside it all together. Also add a pinch of salt and pepper as required. Then, over a medium heat, continuously stir the mixture until it has thickened and is quite smooth in texture.
While this is all melting nicely, toast the 4 slices of bread as shown above, and preheat a grill at the same time. Also remember not to allow the cheese mixture to boil. After the cheese topping is seen to be ready, spread equal amounts on top of the toasted bread, and then add a pinch of cayenne pepper if preferred.
Then allow the cheese mixture to bubble and start to turn brown under the pre-heated grill. When it's reached the bubbling stage it is ready to serve, and is fantastic on its own, or perhaps served with a side salad or some bacon or ham.
2 heaped tsps instant coffee
125ml hot water
3tbsps Tia Maria or Kahlua
2 eggs separated into yolks and whites
250g mascarpone cheese
3tbsps caster sugar
18 halved sponge fingers
Cocoa powder for dusting
Dissolve the instant coffee in the 125ml hot water and then add either Tia Maria or Kahlua liqueur to the mix and set this to one side.
In the meantime find another bowl, separate two eggs and whisk the two egg yolks and the caster sugar together until they're light and creamy. Then whisk in the 250g of mascarpone cheese.
Next whisk the egg whites separately into stiff peaks. Once this has been achieved fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture.
Then return to the Tia Maria bowl, dip the 18 halved (36 pieces - 6 per serving) sponge fingers into the mixture. Then find 6 dessert small bowls or glasses and then place a layer of fingers at the bottom, followed by the mascarpone mix. Repeat this until a glass is filled, but ensure there's enough mixture left for the final topping. Chill all the filled glasses for 2 hrs at least in the fridge. Before they're due to be served, dust them heavily with cocoa powder.