Showing posts from 2014

Kerststol or Stollen - The Cook's Belly Returns

It has been quite a while since I blogged a recipe on The Cook’s Belly so I hope I still remember how to do this. First things first hello there my neglected readers l have been too quiet for far too long.I have been doing some teaching, which you will know about if you stay in touch with my Facebook page and I also got married to my best friend Joanne in May in Clonabreany House; so these past 10 months have been a little crazy. Although with the Winter months looming and me having some time back on my hands in the evening I finally have a chance to blog again. It also just so happened last week Lidl got in touch with me and asked would I like to try out their new baking products for Christmas. Naturally I said yes please and thought this is great as I knew this would whoop me in to baking and blogging again. Below are some of the products they sent me on, quite an array of ingredients to test and try out for the Christmas period which is after all only 79 days away. 

Myself and Joann…


I absolutely love scones, I always have loved them ever since a child when my mum would make them as a treat, they would always be gorgeous warmed with some butter. As kids it was rare to have jam in our house  ( if it was there my dad would gobble it up, the man has always loved a sneaky sandwich before bed) and jam makes it all the sweeter. Plus another reason we wouldn't get jam is because I would request it for my school sandwiches, but after day or so I would get tired of jam sandwiches and my parents would find em at the bottom of my bag so that would put an end to jam)so I still find it weird putting jam on my scones.

450g self-raising flour 50g caster sugar 1 pinch of baking powder 1 pinch of salt 110g butter 1 large egg 125ml of double cream 125ml of milk  1 large egg for glaze 

Preheat oven to 180°C.Sieve the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl or blitz in a food processor.With a knife, gently blend in the butter firstly, then finish by blen…

Can Bake Won't Bake - 6 Strand Plait

Good morning Blogging pals,
Today marks a new day in my blog, as I present to you our first video. I say "our" as in me and my brother Steve. Steve you see cannot bake and will openly admit cannot cook (apart from Spag Bol, Satay, and Banana Bread). This is a new series of videos that will be appearing on the blog and YouTube of me teaching Steve how to bake. I have to say personally filming the video was hilarious, what you see in it is what you get and is as candid as it could possibly be. It is filmed by now wife Joanne and we use a small Canon Ixus, Joanne does a great job but don't expect Donal Skehan-esque quality. This is all about having fun, learning how to bake and me getting to have the craic with my bro. I do hope you enjoy, and make sure to let us know what you liked, didn't like, how we can make it better and or recipes you would like to see us make.
Please enjoy are caper of baking, and make sure you stay to the very end of the video.
Thanks for watch…

Margherita Pizza

What can I say I love pizza its my favorite take away meal, I can eat copious amounts of it. So much so having returned from Sicily last weekend you would think I would have eaten enough, no chance of that. However though up until recently I had never really made it before, well not at least as good as the recipe that follows, I generally make a big sloppy mess. I stumbled upon Gennaro Contaldo's recipe for pizza dough recently and it is perfect, it makes wonderfully crisp base.

Ingredients ( adapted from Gennaro Contaldo )

500g strong white bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 x 7g sachet dried yeast
4 heaped tablespoons of a good tomato sauce I use this one.
Extra virgin olive oil
120g Parmesan cheese
200g Buffalo mozzarella
extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 220ºC/425ºF/gas 7. Put the flour and salt into a large bowl.Add the yeast to 325ml lukewarm water and stir to dissolve, then gradually add to the flour, mixing well until you get a rough dough. Shape the dough into a…

Iced Choux Buns

There is nothing I love more than Choux, its my favourite of all pastries to work with and last week I made some iced choux buns for a going away party in work. I think everyone in work liked them aswell as the girls in Joanne's office so whilst I am looking after what I eat, I think I am finally able to make desserts for others now without tasting what I have just made. Trust me it takes alot of my will power and determination not to eat them.
Iced Choux with white chocolate ganache filling
Choux Pastry
¼ litre water Pinch of salt & sugar 100g butter 125g strong flour (Orange label Odlums) 4 eggs
White choc Filling
400g of crème fraiche 360g of white chocolate
Chocolate Glaze
200g white fondant  1–2 tsp water
Choux Pastry
1) Bring the water, sugar and butter to the boil in a saucepan. Remove the heat. 2) Add the sieved flour and mix with a wooden spoon. 3) Return to the heat and stir continuously until the mixture comes away from the side of the pan. 4) Remove from the heat a…

My baking classes are coming to you! *Updated with Robyn's Nest Classes*

A question I get asked alot is since the bake off ended is "what am I doing with myself?" well let me tell you here so you can keep up to date with my whereabouts :) Back in November I had a lovely Sunday afternoon chat with Ann Mc Namee of Kitchen Complements on South Anne Street, Dublin 2. Ann asked me would I happen to be interested in teaching some classes in her lovely shop, naturally I said yes because Kitchen Complements is my favourite shop to go in Dublin, and needless to say I was extremely honored to be asked. A few days later Ann asked would I like to take the reigns for some classes she had available. Naturally I jumped at the chance, I ended up teaching two very cool classes, the first one being choux pastry and meringue, the second being gingerbread houses. Both were a great opportunity for me to wet my feet in the baking teaching world. Along came another chat with Ann and Margaret, they wanted me to come up with a 4 week bread course, god I felt this is fant…