Showing posts from August, 2013

My HobNobs - Aka my new favourite cookie/biscuit

HobNobs are one of my favorite biscuits and these babies are to die for, its a wonder how I didn't mill through them all. Also when I made them last night I was sure Joanne would hate them as she isn't a fan of oats or coconut but she loved them, as did the girls she works with. The first thing I did once they were cooled was get the tea on and had a dunk. These are the ultimate dunking biscuit unlike a digestive or rich tea, a hobnob keeps on coming back for more. As discussed by Peter Kay here :)

Here is the recipe, yet another simple but gorgeous bake  :


120g Porridge oats (the bigger ones work best)
160g Plain flour
225g Caster sugar
80g  dessicated coconut
125g butter
1 dessertspoon of golden syrup
1 dessertspoon of honey
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
4 dessertspoons boiling water


1) Preheat your oven to 170c/150c(fan)/325F/gas mark 3.
2) Mix the oats, flour, caster sugar and coconut together in a large bowl.
3) Melt the butter, golden syrup and honey.
4) In a cup mix t…

Chapter One

What can I say here like so many before me have already said. I will attempt to give you an insight in to why Chapter One was so special for me. On Tuesday evening for my birthday Joanne took me to Chapter One for my first ever visit and first Michelin experience in Ireland. Tuesday was our 3rd attempt at finally going so I was so excited and to be honest a little nervous strangely. I say nervous because I wanted Chapter One to live up to my highest expectations, I wanted it to be exactly what everyone had told me and I had read. Reservations were for 7pm but we were a little early, 45 mins too early so having parked in Clery's Car Park we decided not to go for a drink but rather a pop in to Dr Quirkey's Amusement Arcade on O'Connell Street. Yes we are big kids really, I still think I am even though I am 1 year off my 30th birthday. Joanne played on her favourite 20 cent slots and I had a couple of games of "Who wants to be a millionaire", great fun altogether. …

No Knead 2 Hour Bread

This bread you are going to love, its simple, fast and so easy to make you will keep coming back to it as your go to bread in the future. I am always a little skeptical of no knead bread but this one is a winner, it produces a great airy slightly moist crumb and all you need to do is proof it. It takes 1.5 hours proofing followed by only 30 minutes cook time, you cannot get a better faster recipe for yeast bread that comes out like this. I found this recipe below last week whilst perusing, the recipe is provided by Charles over on Five Euro Food, and reading the comments alone convinced me to make this. Check out the recipe below and I really mean it when I say its easy to make anyone can do it and impress people.
400g strong white flour ( I used my favourite Shipton Mills flour ) 300ml warm water ( I always warm my water for 1 minute in the microwave thats it) 8g dried yeast  3tsps sugar 1tsps salt
3tsps of poppy seeds
Placing the yeast into a  bowl…

Angel Food Cake

This is my first time making Angel Food cake inspired by last week's episode of the Great British Bake Off. I have made plenty of different sponges but this one has always eluded me, but boy was it worth the wait. This fatless sponge is absolutely sensational, its quite literally like eating a cloud or a big hunk of cotton wool. If you happened to watch the bake off last week you will notice so many people got it all wrong in the preparation. Firstly DO NOT grease or line the baking tin, the reason being is the batter needs to cling to the pan in order to rise, and secondly they needed to make sure the egg whites beaten to the correct point, just before stiff peaks. Also when you take out the cake you need to turn it upside down on a wire rack to allow the air circulate all over the cake. When the cake has cooled fully, all you need to do is cut the cake out of the tin with a thin sharp knife. I know you will love this, I will definitely be making this again it's one of the b…

Crackbird - Dame St - Dublin

I have to say I never thought I would be writing this blog post. I never thought I would actually darken the doors of Crackbird as it never seemed like a place I could like. I have no trouble in saying I am a normal bloke, and always thought going to Crackbird would be like hipster heaven, I certainly haven't the legs for skinny jeans. Having been to one of Joe Macken's restaurants (creator and mastermind behind Joburger, Skinflint and BEAR) that being Joburger in Rathmines long ago with Joanne, I did at the time like it but Joanne wasn't a fan at all because of the cramped seats and loud music. So maybe I thought ok all of Joe's places are like this and I decided to give them all a skip for the past 3 years. Until 3 weeks ago when I met up with some friends and one of the girls suggested going to Crackbird. It was finally my chance to see what all the fuss was about, the fuss of tweetseats etc that has along ago died down and has left Crackbird one of Dublin's mo…

My Mum's Gingerbread cake

I absolutely love this recipe that my mum has passed down to me. It makes for the for best gingerbread cake I have ever had and she has been baking it for as long as I remember. Its simple to make and I am sure you will love it. Plus it makes your kitchen smell of Christmas!

225g plain flour
3/4 teasp of bread soda
1 teasp of cinnamon
2 teasp of ground ginger
100g butter
100g dark muscovado sugar
150g dark treacle
2 eggs beaten
4 tbsp of milk


1) Sift the dry ingredients together in to a large mixing bowl.
2) Melt the butter in a pan with the sugar and treacle then add to flour.
3) Beat in the eggs and milk to the above mixture using a spatula or whisk.
4) Pour the mixture into a greased and floured loaf tin.
5) Bake 170c/160c fan / 325F / Gas Mark 3 for 1 hour and 25 mins.
6) Remove from the oven allowing to cool.
7) Serve slightly warm with butter or my fave custard, HEAVEN!

Thanks for reading this incredibly simple recipe,


Mikado Macaron - My baking nemesis

Welcome to a diary of someone trying to reach perfection, note the word trying. You see those pink buggers up there, well they are the best macaron I have produced yet and I am still not a 100% happy with them yet let alone even 70% happy with them. They are my greatest test in the kitchen, nothing baking wise at least has ever tested me so much as a macaron. Thankfully however I don't think I am alone, I recall recently seeing Raymond Blanc make macaron on his Kitchen Secrets tv show from a few years ago and despite his macaron looking perfect he still says is trying to master them 30 years later. I am by no means comparing myself to Raymond Blanc but in that there is hope for us all if a master of his craft still hasn't mastered them. I bet you are wondering why they are so hard, quite simply they aren't thats the problem anyone can make them but they are fiddly to make and perfect. 
The first time I made them was back in February of this year down home in Limerick. Joa…

Summer Cherry Tomato Tart with Pistou

With the good weather about to make a come back (just in time for the kids returning to school), this is the perfect tart to celebrate gorgeous Irish cherry tomatoes. I say Irish cherry tomatoes because I am a big believer in buying Irish when it comes to tomatoes, the reason being is most supermarket tomatoes are Dutch. For me in the main are horrible they have no taste and are over produced. This tart however showcases our home grown red jewels. These tarts consist of a puff pasty base, onion filling topped with tomatoes, mozzarella and pistou. I say pistou here and not pesto as this is the French version, it contains no cheese or pine nuts. I hope you make this below as its so simple and easy to make.
125g of puff pastry ( you can simply use Jus Roll's puff pastry you find in many supermarkets here) 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped 3 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil 3 sprigs of thyme Sea salt Black pepper 30 cherry tomatoes halved 1 ball of mozzarella
Pistou Handf…

Salted Stroopwafel Rocky Road

This happens to be one of the easiest treats you can make in the kitchen and requires virtually no cooking. You can impress your friends so easily with this they will want more and more. Rocky road can literally contain anything , in fact one of my favourites is popcorn it works so well. However today I have added some digestive biscuits and the main ingredient Stroopwafels. Stroopwafels are native to the Netherlands, two waffle biscuits sandwiched with yummy caramel toffee. I also added some Fleur de Sel I found in the back of my cupboard, I love this moist salt because it works so well with sweet treats. Here is the most easiest recipe ever for you to enjoy.
300g 75% dark chocolate 200g of mixed marshmallows 2Tbsp of honey 80g of butter melted 1Teasp of Fleur de Sel 8 digestive biscuit - roughly chopped 10 stroopwafels - roughly chopped 1Teasp of vanilla extract
1) Pre line a 30cm x 15cm dish with cling film. 2) Melt your chocolate in a double boiler or slowly in t…

Lemon Drizzle Biscuits

Of late Joanne my fiancee has dipped her toes in to baking and is really starting to enjoy it. She will openly admit she hasn't much baking experience but is really trying to expand and try new things. So today Joanne (you may know her as one half of LovelyGirlieBits) has prepared this excellent biscuit recipe. I can vouch that these are so good, I steamrolled through three quarters of them, so I am sure you will love them too. Anyways I now hand over the reigns to Joanne :)
Usually when Will heads home to Limerick every couple of weeks, he sets me a challenge to bake something. I'm not a baker at all, far from it, but I do enjoy trying to make something new on his return back to Dublin. This week I looked through Miranda Gore Browne's book - Biscuit.  I wanted to try something that was easy and not too complicated as Will wouldn't be here to help me with my questions.  I decided to make Lemon Drizzle Biscuits and not only were they simple to make but they are so tasty …