During my time on BBHC I tried to incorporate as much Welsh food as I could, I used lots of Welsh produce but I was also aware that I never cooked with Welsh lamb of made Welsh cakes, so in the final I would have been making both.
My passion for making traditional Welsh food will not diminish but I also like to experiment and like to create recipes which bring Welsh cooking into the 21st century, perfecting the traditional recipe and then transferring it into a recipe for modern Welsh families.
For the Welsh cake Cheesecake I make my own Welsh cakes, but if you would rather buy them or are lucky enough to have a relative who makes them for you those would work just as well. It’s such a simply recipe and it does really taste like Welsh cakes.
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500g piece cannon of lamb
200g chestnut mushrooms
20g dried mushrooms soaked in boiling water
2 tbsps dried laverbread (optional)
6 slices of prosciutto
500g puff pastry or a quantity of rough puff pastry
1 egg yolk, beaten
For the Pancakes:
For the Sauce:
A knob of butter
100ml red wine
400ml chicken stock
1. Season the lamb. Seal the meat in a hot pan with a splash of oil, about 2 mins on each side.
2. Roughly chop the fresh mushrooms, or blitz them in a food processor. Roughly chop the soaked dry mushrooms and squeeze out as much of the excess liquid as possible.
3. Season the mushrooms. Fry the mushrooms over a medium high heat for 5-7 mins, most of the liquid should be evaporated away. Taste and season more if needed, stir through the laverbread if using and leave to cool.
4. Make the pancakes:
Add the flour to a bowl and season, mix the egg and mix and slowly add to the flour whisking the whole time. Add the herbs and mix through. Add a drop of oil to a large non stick pan, add enough batter to make a thin pancake and swirl. you will need to make 3-4.
5. Lay out cling film, create a layer of prosciutto, add the lamb, then top with the mushroom mix. Use the cling film to roll into a neat parcel shape (see video below). Chill for 15-20 mins.
6. Lay out another piece of cling film, trim the pancakes into square shapes, and lay on the cling film. Add the lamb parcel, use the cling film to roll again, (see video below). Chill for 15-20 mins.
7. Roll out the puff pastry, then lay onto of another piece of cling film. Add the lamb parcel and roll, very tightly , cutting away any excess. (see video below). Chill for 60 mins, but this can be made up to a day in advance
8. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 200 C fan. Brush the pastry all over with the egg yolk, add a design (optional) and sprinkle the top with sea salt.
9. Cook for approx 20 mins, use a meat thermometer to make sure its cooked, i like my pink. For well done leave for another 10-15 mins.
10. Leave to rest for 20 mins before carving.
Make the Sauce:
1. Melt the butter in a sauce pan, add the shallot and gently cook until soft, add the wine and port and bring to the boil. Boil until reduced, add the chicken stock and continue to boil until thick and shiny, season with black pepper, taste before adding salt as it usually doesn't need salt.
I served mine, with silky mashed potatoes, fresh green veggies and baby carrots, par boiled and finished in a pan with butter and thyme.
Lots of people put extra flour on their pastry to absorb the cooking liquid from the lamb, I think the pancakes, do a batter jobs and are far tastier.
15 bought or homemade Welsh cakes
250g digestive biscuits
400g cream cheese
250g mascarpone cheese
100g caster sugar
75g golden caster sugar
100ml double cream
3 large eggs
½ tsp nutmeg, plus extra for the base
20g raisins, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
1. Preheat the oven to 140 C fan
2. Crush the biscuits in a bag with a rolling pin, add a sprinkle of nutmeg.
3. Melt the butter then add the biscuits, mix well then use to line the bottom of a 23cm spring form tin. Add a layer of Welsh cakes approx. 8. Chill.
4. Whip the double cream, then add the cream cheese, mascarpone, sugar, and eggs, beat well with an electric mixer, until well combined. Then stir through the nutmeg, raisins and zest.
5. Break up 6-7 Welsh cakes by hand and mix through the cream mix, then pour on top of the biscuits and Welsh cake base.
6. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave in the oven until cool, it should still have a wobble.
Once cool refrigerate overnight or at least 3 hours, then remove from the tin and serve with Bara Brith ice cream.
If you have Welsh cakes which are a bit past their best and maybe a bit dry, then this recipe will give them a new lease of life.
Let me know if there any more recipe you would like me to post.