Showing posts from September, 2013

Pasta Facile

This recipe has become my go to easy dinner and its in the name, Pasta Facile, meaning easy pasta in Italian. Its very fast to make and delicious to eat. Its a favourite of my mum and Joanne, my mum however is the one I am more happy about as she is not a big fan of different foods, she likes to stick to simple foods. When I served this up on Friday, she lapped it up and even came back for seconds, this sort of thing pleases me greatly as I am helping my mum branch out in to different foods, this sounds stupid especially when you see the ingredients below but some people like to stick to the norm. Anyhow I hope you like and try this, its easy and so damn good.
Ingredients (Serves 3)
250g fresh lasagne sheets 100g parmesan (grated) 1 can of tomatoes (I used Mutti - very good brand) 2tsp of tomato puree 2tsp of extra virgin olive oil 3 garlic cloves crushed Salt and pepper Basil 100g of bacon lardons
1) Bring one can of tomatoes to a boil in a saucepan, add the tomato puree, oil, …

Great Irish Bake Off Week 2 - Roscoff Sweet Onion Tart

Roscoff Sweet Onion Tart
Short Crust Pastry: 400g plain flour 200g butter Water Pinch of salt
Filling 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 40g of butter 14 Roscoff pink onions Worcestershire sauce Sea salt Coarse black pepper 3 large eggs 150g of Coolea extra mature cheese 1 egg yolk for glaze
10 inch fluted tart tin

Pastry: Sift flour and salt. Add butter to the flour and rub in until resembling breadcrumbs. Add water and bring together into a paste. Chill until needed.
Assembly: To make the filling, heat the olive oil and butter in a saucepan on medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 2 minutes. Cover saucepan, reduce heat to low for about 20 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 200˚C /180˚C Fan /Gas 6. Remove cover from the pot of onions, raise heat to medium, season with salt and pepper. Further cook the onions for about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from heat adding Worcestershire sauce. Grease a tart tin with flour and butter. Line the tin with half the pastry and blind bake for 18 minutes. Remove from oven allow …

Great Irish Bake Off Week 2 - Profiterole Tart with Chestnut Mousse

Profiterole Tart and Roscoff Sweet Onion Tart Profiterole Tart
Short Crust Pastry: 400g plain flour 200g butter Water Pinch of salt
Choux Pastry 65g water 65ml milk 45g butter Pinch salt 70g plain flour 3 large eggs
Caramel 2 tbsp Fleur De Sel 250ml caster sugar 60ml water 125ml double cream, warm 60ml butter, diced
Filling 1.5 Litre of double cream 150g chocolate 200g flaked almonds 100g butter 100g golden syrup 1 tbsp pureed chestnut paste 100g icing sugar
10 inch fluted tart tin
Short Crust Pastry Sift the flour and salt, rubbing in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre adding the sugar and the eggs, mixing well. Refrigerate until needed to firm up the pastry.
Choux Pastry Pre heat oven to 180c. Boil milk, water, salt and butter and remove from heat. Sieve flour and stirring with a wooden spoon. Put pan back on heat and stir until mixture comes away from the pan (2 mins ). Add eggs one by one. Pipe choux paste on greaseproof lined tray. Bake for 25-30mins
Caramel In a saucepan, bring th…

Great Irish Bake Off Week 1 - Black Forest Cupcakes

Black Forest Cupcakes   Black Forest Cupcakes
Chocolate Sponge 225g Butter 225g Caster Sugar 225g Self Raising Flour 25g Cocoa Powder 4 Large Eggs
Macerated Blackberries 200g Fresh Blackberries 30g Butter 60g Icing Sugar 300ml of Crème De Cassis 3-4tbsp of Water
Buttercream Icing 250g Butter 500g Icing Sugar 60g Milk 2 Vanilla Pods 200g 85% Dark Chocolate
1 standard cupcake tin
Heat oven to 180°C/160 fan/gas 4.Beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy, then add the eggs, one at a time, slowly mixing through.Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and mix until well combined. Place 12 cupcake cases in to a cupcake tin and spoon the mixture evenly in to all cases.Bake for 15-20 minutes until a thin skewer inserted into the centre of the cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 1 hour.Whisk both icing sugar and butter together, once whisked add the milk to loosen the icing slightly. Set aside for piping. In a hot pan melt a knob of butter adding the blackberries and icing powder. Bring to t…

Orange Meringue Tart - Great Irish Bake Off - Week 2 - A little more cake please

YES! I survived Week 2 Tarts, to be honest I can't believe I got past the first week let alone this week, I am taking each week as it comes. My Pistachio Bakewell was poor tonight, the pressure really got to me making it. The base was like a sponge it was so thick, the frangipane over flowed a bit and it looked ugly, so an all round bad bake. I have made loads of bakewells in the past but everything goes out the window in that tent, for example the pastry, it was so rich and difficult to work with but sure what can you do I guess, no point in complaining over it now. My tart showstoppers however saw me through thankfully, Paul and Biddy both loved them especially the flavour from the French Onion tart. The Profiterole tart also is a favourite of mine and I think the flavours really go so well together between the chestnut mousse and salted caramel. I was delighted for Oonagh this week getting star baker she bloody well deserved it, her showstoppers were fantastic and she had a cr…

Throwback Thursday - Campagne Kilkenny - The Perfect New Years Eve

This is my first review of 2013 and by god its review that ended 2012 on a major high. Last night I had booked dinner for Joanne in Campagne in Kilkenny to celebrate her birthday and New Years eve. Campagne is run by Garrett Byrne and Brid Hannon. I don't really believe I should mention that Garrett is the former head chef of Chapter 1 in Dublin because what Garrett has done here in Gashouse Lane is fantastic, it should be Garrett Byrne of Kilkenny's Campagne thats it! The restaurant itself is just around the corner from the MacDonagh Junction shopping centre for anyone that knows Kilkenny, if you don't I will have links at the bottom of the page. We arrived just before 7.30pm and were greeted by a really nice and friendly woman who saw us to our seats. Our waitress for the evening gave us our menu's and took our drink orders, at the same time plonking some gorgeous sourdough bread on the table.
As we both scanned over our menus my mind raced with what to get, so many…

Speculaasjes - Dutch spicy biscuits

What can I say these biscuits have been in my life as long I can remember. Every Christmas my grandparents in the Netherlands would send us a Christmas parcel and these yummy biscuits would always be included. They would always be the highlight of the parcel as we all loved them so much, in fact my dad loves them so much he would put two of these biscuits in between two buttered slices of bread, which is actually quite tasty. Now I know the Dutch folk reading this only believe Speculaas should be in eaten in December but I could eat these every day with coffee. Here is the recipe that I got from the Cees Holtkamp's Banketbakker book, its fantastic so I highly recommend it. It is however written in Dutch so all you need to do is use something like Bing translator. Here's the recipe:

225g butter 300g dark muscovado sugar 5g salt 50g buttermilk 500g plain flour sieved 20g baking powder 30g of speculaas spices ( sourced these from an online Dutch shop) 1 egg Flaked al…

My Takeaway Pizza

I love pizza and quite frankly who doesn't like pizza, its got everything bread base, tomato-ey sauce and cheese, its like the holy trinity of yumminess. I love all kinds of pizza from thin based Italian ones to just regular Dominos takeaway pizza. My pizza above however is my version of a takeaway pizza, because to be honest Dominos et al is flipping expensive, so do it your self its easy. Today you will learn two stalwarts when making pizza, how to make a good sauce and easy pizza dough.
Dough 180ml warm water (blood temperature - 30 seconds in the Microwave)
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
2tbsp olive oil
250g strong bread flour
64g semolina
1tsp salt
Tomato sauce 1 can of chopped tomatoes 2 garlic cloves crushed 1/2teasp dried oregano Salt and Pepper 1/2tbsp of tomato puree
Topping can be what ever you want its your pizza, however I used the following:
1 green pepper finely sliced 1 yellow pepper finely sliced 1 red onion finely sliced 2 chicken breasts finely sl…

Roast Bacon Loin with Apples and Onions

This evening I had a nice bacon loin in the fridge ready and waiting to be boiled. Its become our go to Sunday dinner lately, nothing better than bacon, cabbage and mash. However this evening I decided to push the boat out a little bit roasting the bacon loin with some apples and onions serving with broccoli mash, it all turned out flipping delish! Here is the recipe below :

1kg Bacon Loin Salt & Pepper Mixed Herbs 2 small onions(halved and finely sliced) 4 small cox pippin apples Olive oil 4 tsp Balsamic vinegar
8/9 florets of broccoli 2 large rooster potatoes 2 tsp of butter
2 tsp Flour 200ml of cider

1) Preheat oven to 200c (180c fan) / gas mark 4. 2) Season the bacon with salt, pepper and mixed herbs. 3) Heat a ovenproof fry pan with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. 4) Sear the bacon loin on all sides, remove and set aside. 5) Gently fry the onions and apples for 2 minutes on medium heat. 6) Add the bacon loin back to the frying pan and transfer to the oven for 30…

Lemon Friands - Great Irish Bake Off - Week 1 - A little more cake please

Well hello :),
I hope you enjoyed the first episode of the Great Irish Bake Off, and best of all I survived another week. Holy moly was I nervous as heck in that episode. Being thrown in to a tent with 11 fantastic bakers certainly rattles your nerves thats for sure. In regard to my bakes Paul and Biddy were bang on the money with their comments this week. My cupcakes upon reflection were a slight bit dry and certainly needed more soakage from my flambeed blackberries, this really let me down. Next up the Genoese Sponge for the technical was damn difficult, difficult because I hadn't an iota as to how to decorate the cake. My nerves were all over the shop and I decided to go with my gut. Overall it wasn't so bad but it was no where even near what Biddy or for that matter Paul wanted. I am just so glad I managed to stay in the game for another week, however I was very disappointed to see Laura leave. 
When I arrived the previous night for our contestant meet up before filming s…

Spicy Mixed Bean Hummus - Weight Watchers Wednesday

Welcome to this week's Weight Watcher Wednesday post, today I bring you my own mixed bean hummus with some different twists. So generally you make Hummus with chick peas, tahini and olive oil where as mine is a little different but tastes just as good. It comes in at 80 calories based on 8 servings which equates to 2 points for Weight Watchers folk. Enough of the talk here is the recipe its proper tasty!

Ingredients ( 8 Servings ) 40g per serving 

250g of beans drained ( I used a mixed can )
70g of peanut butter ( crunchy )
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 lemon (juice of )
2tsp of chilli sauce ( sambal oelek is what I used found in most asian supermarkets or use chilli flakes )
20g of water


Ok here is the easy part, ready? Put everything in to a blender and blitz till smooth and resembling hummus.


Enjoy and thank you for reading, this simple easy recipe!

Great Irish Bake Off - Get to know me

Its finally happening on Thursday of this week at 9pm TV3 after months of waiting and anticipating.I have written a blog post to tell you a little about me, and why I applied. 
First off who am I?
I am Will, I was born in Limerick and based in Dublin since 2009. My name comes from my dad's side of the family he is Dutch where as my mum is English born in Luton to Irish parents ( grandmother from Newcastle West and grandfather from Kilkenny). They both met in Spain in the 70's and hay presto I am here as a result. Two things that have remained through out my life is my love for all things sweet and cooking. My earliest sweet memories were coming home from school and while doing my homework my dad giving me a mug of milk, a Crunchie bar and packet of salt n vinegar crisps, I think this is why I love salty stuff with sweet so much. As I grew older through my love of watching cookery shows with my dad I was sure that the life of a chef was for me. I pursued it briefly when I was …


For nearly 3 weeks I have been dieting on Weight Watchers as you can see from my recent Weight  Watchers Wednesday posting ( that is a mouthful ). So baking at least, indulgent sinful baking has taken a back seat for me because I find it incredibly hard to bake while counting Weight Watchers points. However today I got back in the kitchen and made something I have been meaning to make since my trip to the Netherlands in June. I first tasted koffiebroodje in the town of Delft in a bakery just off the main square. It was truly heavenly and today I have replicated this fantastic treat with a twist. Unlike the traditional koffiebroodje mine does not contain pastry cream, alot of my baking is dictated by what I know Joanne will and wont eat. As Joanne is someone who doesn't particularly like creamy stuff this gives me an opportunity to play around with recipes a bit to see what does and does not work. With that in mind I consulted a book I cannot recommend it highly enough, its called…