Showing posts from October, 2013


Well there you blooming have it, I am in the final of the Great Irish Bake Off, yes a Finalist. I never envisaged this happening, I can honestly say when I went in to this show I didn't think this could actually happen. In the tent on the first day I didn't think I had a hope in hell looking at all the other bakers.  This week I loved because I got first in the technical which was a nice change of pace doing a Biddy challenge. The quiche was beautiful but I would not be so keen on the carrageen dessert, the flavour I wouldn't particularly like, reminded me of blancmange. Something I would love to eat that actually includes carrageen is Myrtle Allen's carrageen dessert it looks so yum!  Nessa from Nessa's family kitchen has a fantastic version found here.
On to my signature bake, I decided to make an orange flavoured chiffon cake filled with a honey mead buttercream. The brief stated we were required to bake a cake that represented our journey in the show. So the re…

Barm Brack - Halloween Spiced Bread

We used to always have barm brack as kids in our house but we never bought it for the actual bread. All we wanted it for was what was inside, the ring or money, in fact I hated the actual bread as I didn't like dried fruit as child. However as I have gotten older I have learned to really enjoy fruit cakes, I adore hot cross buns, barm brack, Christmas cake and my favourite Christmas pudding there is nothing nicer in this whole wide world. Anyhow back on point with the barm brack, this time I am no longer baking brack for the ring its all about the delish bread. Also its barm not barn, barm was the scummy yeast that would form on brewed ale many years ago that would be used for the brack. 
225g Strong white flour .25tsp salt 4 dessertspoons of mixed spices ( I used speculaas spices ) 25g butter 7g dried yeast 50g caster sugar 150ml milk 1 large egg mixed 225g of luxury mixed fruit Honey for glaze
1) Sieve the flour, salt, spices in to a large bowl. 2) Add the but…

Savoury Macaron - Knockdrinna Snó Goats Cheese Mousse with Blackcurrant Preserve - Meubles Part 1

This weekend I had the pleasure of partaking in a baking demonstration in Meubles furniture store down in County Kilkenny. It was all in aid of the Irish Cancer Society, it was thoroughly good fun and so many people turned up. It was excellent to share the kitchen again with Jerry, Oonagh, Tom, Aoife and Bridget. Also many of my cousins and family turned up which was brilliant too, I was absolutely chuffed. I will hopefully report back this week with how much we raised. For the day I decided to do savoury macaron and normal macaron, the savoury being today's recipe. When I knew I was going to be involved in this event I wanted to use a local product and what better than Knockdrinna cheese.
 Myself and Joanne regularly stay in Stoneyford at Lawcus House, so Stoneyford's Knockdrinna cheese was the first thought that came to mind. I had a few Direct Messages back and forth with Helen in Knockdrinna and she advised their Snó would fit my brief. So before the event Saturday mornin…

My Windmill Croquembouche

Choux Pastry
520ml water 520ml milk 360g butter Pinch salt 560g plain flour 24 large eggs
900g castor sugar 240g liquid glucose 180g water
Short crust pastry
400g plain flour 200g butter Water Pinch of salt 200g flaked almonds 300g of nibbed/pearl sugar
8 medium free-range egg yolks 130g caster sugar 30g plain flour 30g corn flour 700ml whole milk 1 tsp vanilla extract Icing sugar, for dusting 200ml Grand Marnier 200ml Limoncello
Pastry Cone

Choux Pastry

Pre heat oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas 4. 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 in batches – 6 batches to complete 150 mins.

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 pa…


Hello there, Hi, oh yes that's right I am still in the Great Irish Bake Off. I am in the semi finals of the funniest thing I have ever done in my entire life. My god never did I think I would reach the auditions let alone the actual semi finals. I am so  happy that I have reached this point even sitting here now this evening. This week was tough doing patisserie but I enjoyed it. We had the mille feuille which for me I was pretty crap at, the pastry was still warm when I was feathering it, it was a big ol mess but hey these things happen. I am also not a big puff pastry maker I have no trouble telling everyone I happily buy pre bought puff pastry, like everyone else, I have no time in my daily life to be making puff. Next up Croquembouche, one of my truly favourite challenges of the whole show, it was so fun and challenging, I loved every bit. Even the practice was intensely hard but worth it. I tried to resemble a windmill or well that was the goal, I was happy with it and I thi…

Cheddar Cornbread Muffins

I love cornbread its gorgeous, its a beautiful crumbly bread that has its origins in Europe but is most popular in the United States, especially in southern states. Today I bring to you Cornbread Muffins, they are so tasty. I found this recipe over on this lovely blog today, Forbidden Rice Blog.  I left out the Jalapenos, as much I love them, I know Joanne isn't a fan so I left them out.
Ingredients ( Makes 12 )

114g butter melted
114g unrefined cane sugar
1 egg
240ml buttermilk
1/2 tsp baking soda
170g cornmeal
120g cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
150g grated cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 190c/180c fan/375f/gas mark 5. Grease a 12 hole muffin pan.Mix butter, sugar, buttermilk and egg together with a whisk.Sieve the flour, salt, baking soda, and cornmeal, mix to smoother slightly thick batter adding in the cheese.Spoon in evenly to each hole and bake for 25-30 minsRemove from the oven when brown, and springs back when pressed.Enjoy this simple simple recipe.

Chocolate Honeycomb

Making honeycomb is one of my favourite things to make lately its so darn easy to do and it tastes so blooming good. Naturally when you see chocolate covered honeycomb you think Crunchies and I have been eating Crunchies since I can't remember. In fact I remember my favourite way of having them, when I would get in from school my dad would give me a mug of milk, pack of Tayto's salt n vinegar crisps and a Crunchie. I was happy as a pig in muck, although maybe thats why I was a fat kid. Now you can go out and buy some Crunchies but where is the fun in that. Using the recipe below you will be making your own in no time.
200g caster sugar 5 tbsp honey 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda 300g of milk chocolate melted
Line a 20cm square tin with clingfilm. Mix the caster sugar and honey in a deep saucepan and stir over a gentle heat until the sugar has melted. Try not to let the mixture bubble until the sugar grains have disappeared.Once completely melted, turn up the heat a lit…

My Apple Galette

I had to head home to Limerick yesterday to do an Odlums roadshow so I didn't have much time to prepare a dessert for Sunday lunch so I decided with only apples to hand I would make my version of an apple galette. This galette is very simple and anyone can make it!
400g of plain flour 200g of butter Pinch of salt Cold water  2 large cooking apples Caster sugar 1 egg yolk for glaze
Make the pastry by rubbing the butter in to the flour and salt until it resembles breadcrumbs. Now add a tablespoon of water at a time until the pastry comes together into a ball. You don't want it too wet or dry. Chill for 1 hour.Preheat the oven 200c/180c/400F/gasmark 6.Remove your pastry from the fridge, cut in half setting one half aside. Roll out 1 half as thin as possible. With a large plate cut out a circle in the pastry. Now with second pastry half, again roll out thin as possible cutting out smaller circles.Peel and core the apples, and slice thinly.Transfer the large past…

Week 5 - Kahlua Chocolate Bundt Cake with Honeycomb

500g 70% chocolate 400g plain flour 100g cocoa powder 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 400ml Kahlua 300ml sour cream 126g butter, softened but still cool 400g soft brown sugar 3 large eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract Boiling water

Chocolate-Kahlua Ganache 240g 70% chocolate, chopped 160g heavy cream 1 tablespoon Kahlua

Honeycomb Butter, for greasing 200g caster sugar 5 tbsp golden syrup 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Bundt tin

Bundt Cake Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas 4.  Grease Bundt pan.Melt Chocolate over medium-low heat.  Set aside.Sieve flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.Mix well 1 cup of Kahlua and 1 cup of Sour Cream and set aside.Cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, beating well after each.Add the vanilla and melted chocolate and stir to mix.Add the flour mixture, alternating with the sour cream-Kahlua mixture, to the egg-butter mixture.   Stir until the dry ingredients are just mo…


I had such a good time last week holding my accolade of Star Baker, it was good fun, everyone I met congratulated me, so I would just like to express my thanks for everyone's kind words be it in real life or social media. Not a bad week this week on the bake off, the judges loved my Kahlua Chocolate Bundt for the signature especially the honeycomb. The technical wasn't the best in reality, it had so many elements to it. I like the bavarois it was very tasty but the recipe being so scant I didn't do so great with the bitter orange jelly or the chocolate tuiles, they were pretty poor. I did enough however to get through this week so I was naturally ecstatic. Also this week we saw Aoife crowned star baker, which I am still chuffed about for her. Aoife deserves all the plaudits for her baking she is so imaginative and I loved devouring all her bakes,  she was brilliant. On the flipside Jerry was eliminated this week, Jerry was one of the most funniest characters in the Marque…

Viennese Swirls

Here is an incredibly simple recipe that I got and adapted from my dad's baking text book when he first started out baking, nearly 48 years ago and I love it. Its like antique so I am hoping to get it re bound to restore it to its former glory. I absolutely love this recipe, it produces yummy biscuit swirls. I hope you like it. 
Ingredient  150g of soft butter 115g of light muscovado 25g milk 2g salt 230g of plain flour Raspberry jam Method Preheat oven to 180c/160c fan/350F/gas mark 4, line a baking tray with baking parchment. With your hand mix the butter, sugar, milk and salt together until creamy. Sift in the flour and knead in to the butter mix. Now if you think its too stiff loosen it a slight bit with some more milk a 1/2 tablespoon at a time. It needs to be pipeable. Fill a piping bag with the mix and pipe in swirls on to the tray, keep the swirls tight so as not to leave a big hole in the middle. Spoon a little raspberry jam in to the centre of each biscuit and bake for 12…

Japanese Cotton Cheesecake

This weekend I decided to tackle a cake I have been meaning to make for months since I first saw it. I have already successfully recreated two notoriously difficult cakes to make in the form of Chiffon and Angel Food over the past few months, so this cake represented the last piece in this trinity of difficulty. This is a Japanese Cotton cheesecake, one of the most lightest fluffiest cake you could possibly wish to eat. People who have tried it describe it like eating a cloud. Now don't let the name fool you this is not a cheesecake you are used to, it doesn't have that crunchy biscuit base or dense mousse structure. This is unadulterated heaven in the form of cake, and I served it up with some beautiful Blue Haven mixed berry jam. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I did for Sunday lunch last weekend.
Ingredients (Serves 12, adapted from Hungrytigerthirstydragon)
250g cream cheese 50g butter 100ml milk 6 large eggs, separated  60g plain flour 20g cornflour 140g white sugar …

Spanish Almond Butter Buns

I love sweet buns I could eat them all day long, they are one of my favourite things to make in a kitchen. When I recently saw this recipe on a Spanish blog I knew I had to make them. I set about translating the recipe in to English and baking my very own version, these tasty buns are speckled with fruit and almonds. They remind very much of hot cross buns without the spice, and in fact when I make these again I think saffron would be a lovely addition to enhance the flavour profile. I do hope you enjoy this recipe as Mary Berry says they are scrummy, love that word and lady.
Ingredients ( makes 8 ) adapted from "L'Exquisit"
250g bread flour  2tbsp sugar  7g instant yeast (14 grams. grams fresh yeast)  35g butter, soft 65g cottage cheese 2 eggs  50g candied fruit 25g sultanas 35g sliced ​​almonds (plus more for garnish)  Grated rind of one orange  1 egg yolk for glazing the buns Icing sugar, for finishing
Method Mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, and yeast) and add the…

GREAT IRISH BAKE OFF WEEK 4 - Sticky Tear n Share Bread, Pineapple and Coconut Roulade, & Fig Blueberry Tart

Sticky Tear n Share Bread
500g strong bread flour Pinch of salt 1 large egg 1tbsp fast action yeast ( 2 Sachets ) 320g milk 75g melted butter Zest of two lemon For rolling: 400 g dark brown sugar and 2 Tablespoon cinnamon, mixed*
100g macadamia nuts 1 lemon 220g caster sugar
Lemon Icing
200g Icing Sugar Juice of one lemon

Fig & Blueberry Crumble
Sweet Pastry
2 medium eggs 100g caster sugar 250g butter 400g plain flour Pinch of salt
60g hazelnuts 120g plain Flour 100g butter 70g demerara sugar Filling
8 fresh figs 200g blueberries
60g caster sugar 2tbsp cornflour 1tbsp lemon juice Pinch of salt

Pineapple Coconut Roulade
80g plain flour
30g cornflour
1/2tsp baking powder
pinch of fine sea salt
3large eggs
25ml cold water
120g caster sugar

500ml of double cream 500ml greek yogurt 200ml of coconut liquor 2 ripe pineapples 200g of caster sugar 2 coconuts
Sticky Tear n Share Bread

Heat the milk in a microwave for 1 minute or till lukewarm in pan. Take off the heat and add the yeast, whisk and allow…