Here are my recipes from Recipe.tv “A Taste of Ireland at Ballyknocken Cookery School”

Sep 22, 2023 | Catherine's Blog

Celebrating dishes influenced by the wonderful flavours of the “Garden County”, County Wicklow, is an honour for me. We are blessed to live in such a beautiful county, with produce in abundance and producers who are passionate about their food!
In these episodes on recipe.tv, we are making Pies and Picnics, Mains and Deserts and some delicious Ballyknocken Breads Cakes, Bakes & Sweet Treats 
Here are my recipes from Recipe.tv “A Taste of Ireland at Ballyknocken Cookery School”
I hope you enjoy them.

 

 

Pies and Picnics

My Crunchy Nutty Bars

Makes 12 bars

6 tbsp honey

4¼ oz butter

½ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

8 oz rolled oats

3 oz finely chopped dried apricots

4 tbsp dried cranberries

3 oz chopped almonds

2¼ oz sunflower seeds

3 oz pumpkin seeds

1 egg, beaten

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F / gas 4.

Line 1 x 8½ inch square baking tin with parchment paper.

Place the honey, butter, ground cinnamon, a good pinch of nutmeg into a saucepan and gently heat until melted.

Place the rolled oats, apricots, cranberries, almonds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds together in a bowl.

Pour over the melted butter, add the beaten egg and mix well.  Transfer to a prepared baking tin and press down lightly ensuring that it is level.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Take out the oven and slice while still hot into 12 slices / bars.

Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before transferring to a cooling rack.

 

 

Individual Ham Cranberry Leek Pies

makes 4

 

For the pastry

1¾ oz butter

1¾ oz lard

3½ fl oz water

10 oz stoneground Irish Organic Mill plain flour

½ tsp salt

1 egg yolk

 

For the filling

3½ oz bacon lardons

2½ oz leek, sliced thinly

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tbsp chopped parsley

2 tsp chopped thyme

2¼ oz breadcrumbs

½ tsp Dijon mustard

¼ tsp paprika

 

3 to 4 tbsp cranberry sauce

4 to 6 thinly sliced cooked ham

 

Flour, to dust

Egg wash, to glaze

 

To make the pastry, place the butter, lard and water into a saucepan and heat until the lard and butter have melted. Stir well.

Place the flour and salt into a large bowl.

Pour the butter and lard mixture into the flour, mix and add the egg yolk. Stir well.

Place the mixture on a floured surface to knead until smooth.

Roll in a ball and flatten the top. Leave to cool before wrapping and place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.

To prepare the filling, heat a frying pan with a little oil and add the bacon lardons, fry until crispy. Spoon onto a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain and set aside.

Place the leek into the frying pan and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic cloves, parsley and thyme and cook for 1 minute.

Remove from the heat, add the breadcrumbs, Dijon mustard and paprika. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Leave to cool

Add the crispy lardons into the leeks.

Preheat the oven to 400°F / gas 6.

To assemble, brush 4 metal pudding / pie bowls with melted butter and dust with flour.

Line the pudding bowls with pastry.

Place a teaspoon of cranberry sauce in the base of the pastry, then add a slice of ham, followed by stuffing and a spoonful of cranberry sauce. Lastly add a slice of ham.

Cut a circle of pastry for the top. Brush the edge with egg wash and place on top. Crimp around the edges to seal.

Brush the top with egg wash and make two small holes to let the steam out when cooking.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden and cooked.

Leave in the pie / pudding bowls for 10 minutes before turning out. You may need to run a thin knife around the sides to turn out.

 

Muffuletta Picnic Loaf

Makes 1 medium

For the roasted vegetables

2 red peppers, sliced

1 small aubergine, sliced

1 courgette, sliced

2 red onions, sliced

2 cloves garlic, sliced

 

For the filling

1 medium size artisan round loaf of bread

6 slices salami

8 ham slices

4 tbsp basil pesto

7oz mozzarella, torn

2 large tomatoes, sliced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To prepare the vegetables, preheat the oven to 350°F / gas 4.

Place the vegetable slices onto a large roasting tray, sprinkle with oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, turning from time to time ensuring that they are cooked.  Leave to cool completely.

To assemble the muffuletta, cut the top off the bread, keeping the “cap”/ top. Hollow out the inside of the bread – you can make breadcrumbs from the excess inside of the bread and they will freeze well.

Spread pesto on the base and up the sides of the bread cavity as well as the “cap”. Layer up roasted vegetables, then mozzarella, spread more pesto and slices of tomatoes, salami, ham slices and keep pressing down. Continue until it is filled. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper as you go.  Place the “cap” back onto the loaf.

Wrap tightly and place in the fridge overnight for all the flavours to infuse and for it to set.

When ready to serve, use a bread knife to cut slices.

 

 

The Cookie Jar

Viennese Whirls

Makes about 20 (10 sandwiched together)

For the swirls

8½ oz very soft butter

1¾ oz sifted powdered sugar

7¾ oz plain flour

1½ oz corn starch

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

For the buttercream filling

4¼ oz soft butter

7¾ oz sifted powdered sugar

½ tsp vanilla extract

 

3½ oz smooth raspberry jam

Powdered sugar, to dust

 

You’ll need 2 piping bags with star nozzles

To prepare the swirls, preheat the oven to 350°F /gas 4. Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment.

Place the butter, powdered sugar, plain flour, corn starch and vanilla extract into a food processor and blend to a smooth dough.

Spoon some of the dough into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.

Pipe swirls onto the baking trays and space well apart.

Bake for 14 to 16 minutes or until golden and firm.

Cool for 5 minutes on the trays and then transfer to a cooling rack.

To make the buttercream filling, place butter and powdered sugar together with the vanilla extract into a bowl and whisk until light and smooth.

Spoon into a piping bag filled with a star nozzle.

To assemble, spread the jam onto half the biscuits and pipe buttercream filling onto the other half of the biscuits. Sandwich them together and dust the top with powdered sugar.

 

Jammy Dodgers 

Makes about 30 (15 sandwiched together)

3¾ oz soft butter

6 oz superfine sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

7 oz plain flour

7 oz apricot jam

2-inch round cutter

Mini round cutter for the centre

Powdered sugar, to dust

 

Place the butter and sugar into a bowl and whisk until fluffy and light.

Add the egg, vanilla extract and whisk well.

Fold in the plain flour.

Wrap the dough and leave in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375°F / gas 5.

Line 2 baking trays with parchment.

Using extra flour, dust on a clean surface, and roll out the biscuit dough thinly.

Cut out circles and place half on the pre-lined baking trays.

Cut out small circles in the centre of the other half of the circles.

Add the excess dough together and lightly knead together to make more biscuits or you can bake them on a separate tray, they will take less time to cook.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes until lightly golden.

Leave on the trays for 5 minutes before moving them to cooling racks.

Leave to cool completely before decorating.

Spread jam on half the biscuits and top with the biscuits that have the cut out.

Dust with powdered sugar.

 

Wakes Cakes

Makes about 24

6¾ oz plain flour

4¼ oz diced chilled unsalted butter

1¾ oz superfine sugar

4 tbsp chopped raisins

3 tbsp chopped dried sour cherries

2 to 3 tbsp milk

Superfine sugar, to sprinkle on top

 

You’ll need a 2-inch fluted cutter

 

Place the plain flour into a bowl, add the butter and rub in until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Stir in the sugar, raisins and dried sour cherries.

Add enough milk to form a dough. Knead lightly, wrap and leave in the fridge for 15 minutes to rest.

Preheat the oven to 375°F / gas 5.

Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.

Roll out the dough to the thickness of a coin and cut out circles.

Sprinkle over a little sugar onto each biscuit.

Place on the baking tray and bake for 14 to 16 minutes until golden and baked.

Leave on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Sprinkle more sugar on top.

 

  

“A Batch of Pastry”

Chicken Pot Pies

Makes 4  

 For the filling

12¼ oz diced chicken

4 tbsp corn starch

3 shallots, sliced

2 tsp chopped thyme

½ tsp paprika

2 garlic cloves, chopped

7 oz sliced mushrooms

1¾ fl oz white wine

1 bay leaf

5 fl oz chicken stock

1 tsp Dijon mustard

3½ fl oz cream

Egg wash, to glaze

For the pastry (pie crust)

6 oz plain flour

½ tsp salt

4 oz chilled butter, diced

5¼ oz steamed potatoes, pressed through a ricer

¾ tsp baking powder

Cold water (about 3 tbsp), to bind

Flour, for dusting

Egg wash

 

To prepare the filling, Place the diced chicken in a bowl with the corn starch and season with salt and pepper.

Heat a casserole with a little oil and add the diced chicken in batches to lightly brown. Place on a clean plate and set aside.

Add a little more oil, add the shallots and sauté for 4 minutes until cooked but not browned.

Add the thyme, paprika and garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add the mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes.

Pour in the white wine, stir well and cook for 2 minutes.

Return the browned chicken into the mixture.

Pour in the chicken stock, add the bay leaf and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.

Take the bay leaf out.

Remove from the heat, stir in the mustard and cream. If the sauce is too thin, add 2 tsp of corn flour with 2 tbsp water to make a paste and stir into the sauce and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until thick.

To prepare the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a large bowl.

Add the diced butter and rub with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Add the baking powder and mix well. Stir in the mashed potatoes and pour in just enough cold water to form soft pastry dough.

Turn the dough out on a floured surface and knead very lightly.

Wrap and place in the fridge to wrap for 30 minutes.

Choose 4 x 150g ramekins, brush them with melted butter and dust with flour.

Preheat the oven to 400°F /gas 6.

Carefully roll the pastry out on a floured surface, it shouldn’t be too thin.

Use a cutter, large enough to cut the pastry to line the inside of the ramekin, cut out 4 discs and carefully line the ramekins.

For the top cover, cut 4 circles to fit the ramekins.

Spoon the chicken filling into the ramekins, brush the edges and place the pastry discs on top. Crimp the edges.

Make a small hole in the top for the steam to escape. Decorate the top with the excess pastry (optional).

Brush with egg wash and transfer in the preheated oven for about 18 to 20 minutes or until golden and baked.

Remove and leave to “rest” for about 5 minutes before serving.

 

 

Strawberry Rhubarb Meringue Tartlets

Makes 4

For the pastry 

7 oz plain white flour

3¾ oz butter

1tbsp icing sugar

1 egg yolk

2 -3 tbsp cold water

 

For the filling

7½ oz rhubarb, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces

4 oz strawberries, sliced

2¼ oz superfine sugar

Zest of 1 orange

3 fl oz orange juice

2 tbsp arrowroot

2 egg yolks

 

For the meringue

2 large egg whites

5¾ oz superfine sugar

 

You will need 4 x 4 inch loose based deep fluted tins

To make the pastry, place the flour into a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Pour into a bowl and mix in the icing sugar.

Add the egg yolk and enough cold water to form a soft dough.

Shape the dough into a ball, flatten the top slightly and wrap.

Leave in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°F / gas 6.

Line the bases of the tartlet tins with parchment and brush the sides of each with melted butter and dust with flour. Set aside.

Flour a clean surface and roll out pastry until about 5mm thick. Cut out large circles and fit into the tins. Prick the base of the tart with a fork without piercing through.

Line each tin with parchment paper and fill with baking beans.

Bake for 12 minutes in a preheated oven. Remove the baking beans and lining.

Brush each case with beaten egg white, return to oven for a further 5 to 6 minutes, keeping an eye on it until it is just golden.

To prepare the rhubarb and strawberries, preheat the oven to 375°F / gas 5.

Line a roasting tray with parchment and spread the rhubarb pieces and strawberry slices on the parchment.

Sprinkle over the orange zest and sugar and roast for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the rhubarb is just soft.

To prepare the orange filling, drain the cooked fruit and retain 3 tbsp of juice. Place this into a saucepan to make the filling.

Pour the orange juice into the saucepan, add the corn starch, egg yolks, whisk well, simmering while whisking until the orange filling thickens. Leave the filling to cool slightly.

To prepare the meringue, whisk the egg whites until stiff and then slowly add in the superfine sugar until stiff peaks of meringue.

To assemble, spoon some of the roasted fruit into each pastry case.

Spoon the orange filling into a jug and carefully fill the pastry cases.

Spoon the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and pipe over the top of the filled tartlet cases.

Using a blow torch, brown the meringue and leave to cool before serving.

Note: this recipe has uncooked egg. And ensure you use pasteurised eggs.

 

Lemon Tart

Makes 1x 9-inch round tart  

For the pastry 

6½ oz plain white flour

A pinch of salt

3½ oz butter

1 tsp superfine sugar

1 egg yolk

3 – 4 tbsp cold water

 

For the filling

Zest of 5 lemons and 8½ fl oz juice

4 eggs

5½ oz superfine sugar

6¾ fl oz double cream

Powdered sugar, to dust

Egg wash, to glaze

 

To make the pastry, Sift the flour into a bowl. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Mix in the sugar.  Add the water to the egg yolk and mix well.  Add to the flour mixture.  Bind together, adding a little more flour if the pastry seems sticky.  Shape the dough into a ball, flatten slightly and wrap in cling film.  Leave in the fridge to rest for at least 1 hour.

Flour surface and roll out pastry until 3-5mm thick.

Drape the pastry over the rolling pin to lift it over the tart ring.

Dust off the surplus flour again and unroll the pastry into the tart ring.

Press the pastry into the bottom and up the sides.

Roll the rolling pin over the top of the ring to cut off the excess pastry.

To bake the tart blind, line the case with parchment paper and fill with dried beans.

Bake for 10 – 15 minutes in a preheated oven of 350°F / gas 4.

Remove the baking beans and lining.

Brush with egg wash, return to oven for a further 10 minutes.

To make the filling, grate the zest of the lemons and squeeze enough juice to give 8½ fl oz.

Break eggs into bowl, add the sugar and whisk until combined.

Add the lemon juice and zest.

Add the cream and whisk lightly. Spoon off any large air bubbles and discard.

To finish the tart, pour mixture into partially baked pastry case.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until tart is set and feels springy in the centre.

Let it cool for ½ hour if you want to serve it warm or serve cold, dust with powdered sugar.

 

Tip:  When pouring lemon mix into pastry case, pour mixture into a jug first to avoid a mess.

 

Chocolate

 

Chocolate Beetroot Traybake

Makes 1 x 8½ inch square

 

6 oz beetroot, cooked and peeled

3 tbsp water

7 oz dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

 

2¼ oz softened butter

3½ oz soft brown sugar

4 large eggs

 

5 oz organic semolina flour

5½ oz ground almonds

1½ tsp baking powder

4 tbsp natural yoghurt

 

For the buttercream topping

5½ oz softened butter

10 oz powdered sugar

½ tsp orange extract

Orange zest, to decorate

Edible flowers, to decorate (optional)

 

Preheat the 350°F / gas 4.

Line the base of an 8½ inch square tin with baking parchment.

Blend the beetroot with 3 tbsp water in a food processor until smooth.

To make the cake, melt the chocolate in a bain marie (a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water).

Place the butter and soft brown sugar into a mixing bowl and whisk until light and fluffy.

Add all the eggs at once and whisk again.

Fold the melted chocolate and pureed beetroot in.

Add in the semolina flour, ground almonds and baking powder and natural yoghurt and lightly fold in until combined.

Transfer into the prepared tin.

Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until set or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes and then transfer to cool completely on a rack.

To prepare the topping, place the softened butter, icing sugar and orange extract into a bowl and whisk until light and fluffy.

Spoon into a piping bag and pipe over the cold cake and decorate with orange zest and edible flowers if you are using them.

 

 

Lemon and Blueberry Tea Loaf

Makes 1 x 2 lb loaf

For the cake

4¼ oz softened butter

4¼ oz superfine sugar

1 lemon, juice and zest

3 eggs, beaten

2¾ oz blueberries

4 tbsp white chocolate pieces

4 tbsp ground almonds

8¾ oz plain flour

2tsp baking powder

2 fl oz milk (you may need less)

 

For the topping

1¾ oz softened butter

3½ oz powdered sugar

4 tbsp mascarpone

2¼ oz white chocolate, melted

Milk, to loosen as needed

Lemon slices, to garnish

3 tbsp blueberries, to garnish

Mint sprigs, to decorate

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F / gas 4.  Line a 2 lb loaf tin with parchment.

To prepare the cake, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.

Add the eggs, all at once, beating well and add in the lemon juice and zest, the blueberries and white chocolate pieces.

Carefully fold in the ground almonds, flour and baking powder and add in enough milk to form a soft cake batter.

Pour into the lined loaf tin and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until when a skewer is inserted it comes out clean. Leave to cool in the cake tin for 15 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

To make the topping, place the butter and powdered sugar into a mixing bowl and whisk until fluffy, add the mascarpone and pour in the melted chocolate while still whisking. If the mix is to set, then add in a tbsp of milk to loosen.

To decorate, when the loaf is cold, pipe the topping on the loaf. Arrange the lemon slices, blueberries and sprigs of mint on top.

 

Irish Cream Truffles

Makes about 20 depending on the size

 8½ fl oz double cream

9 oz dark chocolate

2 tbsp Irish cream liqueur

Freeze dried raspberries, ground, for dusting

Cocoa powder, for dusting

Chopped hazelnuts, for dusting

20 mini petit four cases

 

Place the cream in a saucepan over a medium heat and bring to the boil.

Remove from the heat.

Break the chocolate into small pieces, add the Irish cream liqueur and pour over the hot cream.

Stir until the chocolate is melted and is thick and leave to cool until just set. This will take about 20 minutes.

 

To make the truffles:

Shape the chocolate into the size of a small walnut.

Roll in the cocoa powder, chopped hazelnuts or freeze-dried raspberries.

Leave to dry before transferring to the cases, ready for boxes or to serve.

 

 

 

Afternoon Tea

Apricot Whiskey Scones

Makes 12 to 15 small scones

9 oz self-raising flour

2¾ oz diced butter

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

4 tbsp superfine sugar

4 tbsp dried chopped apricots soaked in about 2tbsp whiskey

3¼ fl oz milk

Extra plain flour, for dusting

Egg wash

3 tbsp superfine sugar, to dust top

Zest of 1 lemon

 

You’ll need a small scone cutter

Raspberry Jam, to serve

Cream, to serve

 

Preheat the oven to 400°F / gas 6.  Dust a non-stick baking tray with flour or line with parchment.

To make the scones, combine the self-raising flour, add the diced butter, and rub it in to resemble breadcrumbs.

Stir in the salt, baking powder and sugar.

Drain the soaking apricots very well and add them to the scone mix.

Pour in just enough liquid to form medium-firm scone dough.

Dust a clean surface with some flour, place the dough on the surface and very lightly pat it out to a thickness of 1 ½ inches.

Using a small size scone cutter, dipped in flour, cut out the scone shapes and place on a baking tray.

Combine the lemon and 2 tbsp superfine sugar together on a bowl.

Pour the egg wash into a plate.

Dip each scone into the egg wash and then into the lemon sugar.

Place them on a baking tray.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes depending on the size until golden and well risen.

Transfer to a cooling rack. Serve with raspberry jam and cream.

 

Chocolate and Vanilla Swirl Biscuits

Makes about 30 (15 sandwiched biscuits)

 7¾ oz golden superfine sugar

6½ oz soft butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

12¼ oz plain flour, sifted

2 to 3 tbsp of milk

4 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted

For the buttercream

2¾ oz softened butter

1½ fl oz cold espresso coffee

7 oz sifted powdered sugar

2½ oz chopped pistachio, to decorate

 

To prepare the swirls, cream the sugar, butter and vanilla extract with a wooden spoon until light and creamy.

Add the egg.

Carefully fold in the flour and enough milk to form a soft biscuit dough.

Divide the dough into 2 and mix the cocoa powder into one half of the biscuit dough.

Roll out each piece into rectangle pieces 13inch x 7inch.

Place the cocoa piece of dough on top of the vanilla one.

Roll the dough firmly into a swiss roll shape. Cut in half, cover with wrap and place in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F / gas 4.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

Using a knife, slice thin discs, place these on the lined tray and bake for 12 to 14 minutes until very lightly golden and cooked.

Allow to cool on the parchment for 10 minutes and then transfer onto a cooling rack.

When completely cold, decorate the biscuits.

To make the buttercream, whisk the softened butter and powdered sugar together with some of the espresso coffee until fluffy.

Spoon into a piping bag inserted with a plain nozzle.

Pipe half the biscuits around close to the edge and sandwich the other half of the biscuits on top. Press lightly.

Place the chopped pistachio on a plate and roll the sides of the biscuits in the nuts.

Arrange on a cake plate or stand.

 

 

Lemon Thyme Mini Muffins with Lemon Cream and Smoked Trout

Makes 24

For the muffins

2 spring onions, thinly sliced

1 tbsp olive oil

7¾ oz plain flour

1½ tsp baking powder

4 tbsp grated parmesan

2 tsp chopped thyme

1 tbsp chopped parsley

½ tsp paprika

½ lemon, zest only

2 eggs

1¾ fl oz olive oil

3½ fl oz milk

 

For the lemon crème

3 fl oz crème fraiche

½ lemon, zest only

1 tbsp chopped dill

2½ oz smoked trout, to serve

24 small lemon pieces / wedges, to garnish

Sprigs of dill, to garnish

 

Preheat the oven to 400°F / gas 6. Brush the 24-hole mini muffin tray with olive oil or melted butter.

Heat a frying pan with a little oil and add the spring onions, sauté until softened but not browned. Set aside to cool.

To prepare the muffins, place the cold cooked spring onions, plain flour, baking powder, parmesan, thyme, parsley, paprika and lemon in a bowl. Mix well.

Place the eggs, pour the olive oil and milk into a jug and whisk well.

Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well. You should be able to easily spoon the batter into the muffin tray.

Using 2 spoons, spoon into the baking tray.

Transfer to the oven for 13 to 15 minutes until golden and baked. Insert a skewer to check that they are baked. The skewers should come out clean.

Leave in the tray for 10 minutes before running a sharp knife around each one and transferring to a cooling rack.

To assemble, combine the crème fraiche with the lemon zest and dill. Add a little salt if you wish. Stir well.

Spoon a little lemon cream on top.  Arrange a small twist / rosette of smoked trout on top.

Garnish each muffin with a small piece / wedge of lemon and a sprig of dill.

 

Irish Breads

 

Flowerpot Soda Bread

Makes 2

11¼ oz plain white flour

1 tsp superfine sugar

1 tsp bread soda (bicarbonate of soda)

Pinch of salt

½ leek, finely diced and cooked until lightly caramelised

2 tbsp chopped parsley and chives

2 oz grated mature cheddar cheese

6¾ fl oz buttermilk

 

2 x 4 – 5-inch unglazed terracotta flowerpots

2 to 3 tbsp sunflower seeds

 

Egg wash

 

Preheat the oven to 400°F / gas 6.

Line the flowerpots with parchment, allowing a collar of parchment to overlap.

Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Mix in the cooked leek and chopped parsley and chives.

Add the grated cheddar cheese.

Make a well in the centre, pour in most of the buttermilk and mix to form a soft dough.

Divide the dough between the 2 flowerpots so that it reaches just below the lip of each pot. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sunflower seeds.

Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Place on a cooling rack to cool completely – take them out of the flower pots until they are completely cool and then return them back to serve them in the flower pots.

 

To temper the pots:

First you need to temper the pots. This might seem like a lengthy process, but it only needs to be done once. Wash the pots very well in hot soapy water and leave to dry overnight.

Brush the pots with vegetable oil all around the inside, especially the lip. Repeat this process twice, as the pots are very absorbent.

Place the pots on a flat foil-lined baking sheet. Put the pots into a cold oven, then turn the oven on to 400°F / gas 6. This allows the pots to warm up slowly and prevents cracking.

When the oven has reached the required temperature, turn it off again.

Oil and heat the pots once more.

 

 

Wicklow Wolf Yeast Bread

Makes 1 loaf

1½ tsp dried fast action yeast

2 tbsp sugar

3½ fl oz warm water

15¾ oz strong wholemeal flour

1 tsp salt

1 egg, beaten

2 tbsp treacle

6¾ fl oz Wicklow Wolf Pale Ale

1 tbsp oil, to glaze, when rising

Egg wash, to glaze

2 tbsp rolled oats, for the top

 

Line a 2 lb loaf tin with parchment.

Place the yeast, sugar and warm water into a jug and leave to activate. This will take about 5 to 6 minutes.

Place the flour into a mixing bowl, attach the dough hook. Add the salt, beaten egg and treacle.

Pour in the activated yeast and most of the pale ale. Mix together, it should be a soft dough. Add more pale ale if it is too dry.

Mix for 4 minutes on a medium speed until the dough has become slightly smoother – if will still be sticky.

Transfer the dough into the tin. Brush the top with oil and cover with a tea towel, leaving in a warm place for about 60 minutes or until it almost has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 375°F / gas 5.

Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle the oats on top.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until cooked. Tape the base and it should sound hallow or insert a skewer and it should come out clean.

 

Potato Farls with Chilli Prawns   

Makes 1 large farl – sliced into quarters

7 oz plain flour

7 oz mashed potato

½ tsp salt

1 tsp bread soda

About 5½ fl oz buttermilk

Flour, for dusting

1 tbsp butter, to fry

1 tbsp oil, to fry

Lemon wedges, to serve

Chilli prawns with spinach, to serve

 

To prepare the farls, place flour and mashed potato into a medium mixing bowl, add the salt and sift in the bread soda.

Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk. If the dough is too stiff, add a few tablespoons of water.

Mix well and dust a clean surface with flour.  Place the dough on the floured surface and shape into a large circle. Slice into quarters with a sharp knife.

Heat a griddle pan or large frying pan over a medium to high heat, brush with a little butter.

Place the soda farl quarters onto the pan and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes until golden on each side.

Serve with wilted spinach and garlic chilli prawns and lemon wedges.

To prepare the chili prawns, melt butter in a pan, add the prawns and chilli and finish with the lemon juice and spinach. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

 

Desserts

 

Date Orange Chocolate Torte

Makes 1

7¾ oz blanched almonds, roughly chopped

7¾ oz pitted dates, roughly chopped

7 oz dark chocolate drops

1 orange, zest only

2 tbsp cocoa powder

6 egg whites

3½ oz superfine sugar

Cocoa powder, to decorate

Candied orange slices, to decorate

Preheat the oven to 350°F / gas 4.  Line a 9-inch springform tin with baking parchment.

To prepare the cake, combine the almonds, dates, chocolate drops and orange zest in a bowl.  Sift the cocoa powder into the almond mixture.

Place the egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until soft peak stage.  Add tablespoons of sugar in at a time, whisking after each addition until combined.  Whisk for a further 2 minutes until the mixture is thick and glossy.

Use a large spatula lightly fold in the almond mixture until just combined. Pour into the lined parchment springform tin.  Bake for 45 minutes or until the torte begins to pull away from the side of the pan.

Turn the oven off, leave the door open slightly and cool the torte completely in the oven.

To serve, remove from the tin and slide on a cake stand, dust the top with cocoa powder and arrange the candied orange on top.

 

 

Strawberry and Blueberry Fruit Tart 

Serves 8 to 10

 For the pastry

7oz plain flour

1¾ oz sugar

A pinch of salt

3½ oz chilled butter, diced

1 egg and 1 egg yolk, beaten

For the filling

7¾ oz mascarpone

8½ fl oz double cream

3 tbsp Irish cream liqueur

4 tbsp powdered sugar

10 oz strawberries, washed, hulled and halved

7 oz blueberries

Egg wash, 1 egg and 2 tbsp water

 For the glaze

2 tbsp apricot jam

1 tbsp water

 

Brush a 9-inch tart tin with melted butter and dust with flour.

To make the pastry, place the flour, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl and stir together.  Rub in the chilled butter to resemble breadcrumbs. Slowly add the egg, mixing well to form a soft pastry.  Once the pastry dough has come together, carefully place on a lightly floured surface and knead together until it all comes together. Take care not to over handle the pastry or it will become too soft to roll out.

Wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Place the pastry on a floured surface and roll out thinly.

Using the rolling pin, move the pastry across into the tart tin. Carefully press the pastry into the sides and on the base.

Place on a baking tray.

Preheat the oven to 350°F / gas 4.

Using a sharp knife, trim the edges of pastry off.

Lightly prick the base with a fork without piercing all the way through.

Line with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Place in the oven to bake for 12 minutes, remove the beans and parchment, check if there are any holes in the pastry, patch with the trimmed pieces. Brush with egg wash and bake for 10 minutes until golden and crisp.

Leave in the tin to cool.

To make the filling, combine the mascarpone, Irish cream liqueur, powdered sugar and cream until smooth. Spoon the filling into the base.  Arrange the strawberries and blueberries on top.

Mix the jam and water in a small bowl and brush over the arranged fruit.

 

 

Lemon Amaretti Cake

Makes 1 round 9-inch cake

 

Note: This is a rich, delicious low single layer cake. For a higher cake, increase the ingredients by 50%

 

6oz butter, softened, plus extra for greasing

5½ oz plain flour, sifted

5 oz superfine sugar

4 eggs

5 tbsp ground almonds, plus extra for dusting

1½ tsp baking powder

1 lemon, zest only

6 oz amaretti biscuits, roughly broken

Mint leaves, to decorate (optional)

 

Preheat the oven to 325°F / Gas 3. Line the base of a 9inch springform tin with

baking parchment.

Brush the sides with melted butter and dust with ground almonds.

Place the butter, flour, sugar, eggs, ground almonds and baking powder in a large bowl

and whisk until well blended.

Spread half of the batter into the tin.

Sprinkle the lemon zest over the batter.

Sprinkle over the biscuits and more lemon zest and then pour the rest of the batter on top, spreading it out evenly.

Bake for 45–50 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Transfer to a cooling rack and cool in the tin for 20 minutes.

Run a knife around the edge of the tin and turn it out onto a cake platter.

 

 

Mains

 

Baked Whole Salmon with Lemon Prawns             

Serves 4

 For the salmon

(About) 1.3 lb whole piece salmon fillet, skin removed

1 lemon, sliced thinly

Olive oil, to brush

Sprigs of dill

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

For the pickled onion

1 red onion, thinly sliced

2¾ fl oz rice vinegar

1 tsp superfine sugar

1 tsp salt

 

For the prawns

8 oz prawns, shells removed and deveined

2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

½ tsp paprika

Spritz of lemon

3 oz arugula leaves

6 radishes, sliced thinly

1 generous bunch fresh dill

Lemon wedges, to serve

 

For the salmon, preheat the oven to 350◦F/gas 4. Line a roasting tray with parchment.

Place the whole salmon fillet on the parchment.

Drizzle with a little oil over and arrange the lemon slices along the centre. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes or until cooked. The flesh should flake away easily when a knife is pressed against it.

For the pickled onion, while the salmon roasts, pour the rice vinegar, add the sugar and salt, over the sliced red onions and stir well.

For the prawns, during the last 5 minutes of roasting the salmon, heat a large frying pan with butter and oil to a medium high heat. Add the paprika, prawns and sauté until golden and lightly caramelised cooked (they turn pink).

Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

To serve, arrange the arugula leaves on a large platter.

Transfer the salmon fillet onto the leaves.

Spoon the prawns with their juices on top of the salmon.

Sprinkle around some slices of radish, add the pickled red onion slices and sprigs of dill.

Serve the salmon with lemon wedges.

 

 

Greek Style Butterflied Leg of Lamb

Serves 6 to 8

3½ lbs leg of lamb, deboned and butterflied

5 small sprigs rosemary

For the marinade

2 lemons, juice and zest

3 anchovy fillets

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tbsp roughly chopped mint

3 fl oz olive oil

3 tbsp cider vinegar

For the salad

3½ oz lettuce leaves, torn

3½ oz cherry tomatoes, sliced

½ cucumber, diced

2 tbsp black olives

2 tsp roughly chopped mint leaves

1¾ oz feta cheese, crumbled

 

For the mint dressing

8 mint leaves, shredded

1 tsp honey

3 tbsp white wine vinegar

5 tbsp olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

2 tbsp capers, to garnish

3 to 4 tbsp crumbled feta cheese, garnish

Thin lemon wedges, (optional), to garnish

Mint leaves, to garnish

 

To prepare the lamb, trim off all the excess fat and skin if your butcher hasn’t done it for you. Make 5 incisions into the flesh of the lamb with a sharp knife.  Insert the rosemary sprigs.

Combine all the ingredients for the marinade and place the butterflied leg of lamb into the marinade.  Cover with plastic wrap and leave for at least 6 hours or even overnight in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 400°F /gas 6. When you are ready to cook, take the lamb out the fridge and leave it at room temperature for 20 minutes – no longer.

Preheat a chargrilled pan over medium to high heat. Remove from the marinade, slightly pat dry and sear the lamb on both sides. Transfer the lamb to a roasting pan, add the slices of lemon.

Roast for 15 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 350°F /gas 4 and cook for a further 18 to 20 minutes if you like your lamb medium, add on another 10 to 12 minutes longer if you like it well done.

Allow to rest, covered with foil for at least 20 minutes.

To prepare the salad, place all the ingredients into a large bowl.

To prepare the dressing, place all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk very well. Check the seasoning, adding salt, pepper and honey if needed.

Spoon some dressing over the salad.

To serve, transfer the salad to a large serving platter, slice the butterflied leg of lamb and place onto the salad.

Sprinkle over the capers and feta.  Garnish with lemon wedges if you are using them and mint leaves, serve immediately.

 

 

Honey Pork Salad with Glazed Apples

Serves 4

For the marinade

2 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tbsp honey

2 tsp chopped thyme

17 oz pork tenderloin

1 tbsp honey

 

For the dressing

1 tbsp honey

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

2 tsp wholegrain mustard

5 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp cider vinegar

Salt and Pepper, to taste

 

For the apple slices

2 to 3 apples, thickly sliced with skin left on

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp butter

 

For the salad

80g mixed salad leaves

1 cucumber, ribboned

1¼ oz micro sprouts

 

Flat leaf parsley, to garnish

 

For the marinade, mix the oil, garlic, Dijon mustard, honey and thyme in a shallow rectangle bowl.

Place the pork tenderloin in the bowl and brush to cover with marinade. Leave in the fridge for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350°F /gas 4.

Heat a frying pan with olive oil and place the tenderloin in. Brown on all sides.

Remove, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and place on a roasting tray and transfer into the preheated oven.

Roast for 30 to 35 minutes.

Brush honey on the tenderloin while roasting.

To prepare the dressing, combine all the ingredients and whisk together well. Set aside.

To assemble the salad, place the lettuce leaves onto a platter. Arrange the cucumber ribbons on top and sprinkle the micro sprout over.

To prepare the apple slices, heat a frying pan with butter and honey and place the apple slices into the pan, leave to caramelize lightly and transfer to the salad platter.

Leave the tenderloin to rest for 6 minutes. Cut the tenderloin in half lengthways and then cut medium thick slices and arrange on the salad.

Spoon over some dressing and serve the rest separately.

Garnish with parsley.

 

Healthy and Appetisers

 

Healthy

 

Smoothie Bowl                       

1 serving.

1 banana, roughly chopped and frozen for 20 minutes

3¼ fl oz natural yoghurt

4 tbsp blueberries

4 tbsp porridge oats

1 tbsp nut butter

1 tsp chia seeds

3 tbsp water

 

For the topping

3 tbsp raspberries

1 kiwi, sliced

1 tbsp pumpkin seeds or seeds of your choice

1 tbsp toasted coconut flakes

1 tbsp chopped pistachios

 

To prepare the smoothie, place the frozen banana, natural yoghurt, blueberries, porridge oats, nut butter, chia seeds and water into a blender and blend until smooth. It should be a consistency like a thick soup.

To serve, pour into a bowl, arrange the raspberries, kiwi slices, pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes and chopped pistachios on top and serve immediately.

 

 

 

Granola

Makes 14 oz

 

2 tbsp rapeseed oil

4 tbsp honey

12¼ oz porridge oats

3 tbsp sunflower seeds

4 tbsp sesame seeds

3 tbsp pumpkin seeds

2 tbsp pistachio, roughly chopped

4 tbsp coconut flakes

2 tbsp raisins

2 tbsp dried cranberries

 

Heat the oven to 325°F / gas 3.  Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.

To prepare the granola, mix the oil, and honey in a large bowl. Add in all the remaining ingredients, except the coconut, raisins and cranberries, and mix well.

Pour the mixture onto a large baking tray and spread evenly.

Stir from time to time. Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, then mix in the coconut, raisins and cranberries and bake for a further 7 minutes.

Keep an eye on this mixture as it can burn around the edges quickly.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before spooning into a storage jar.

 

 

Rainbow Salad with Brie Cheese and Lemon Sesame Dressing

Serves 4

 

for the salad

4 beetroots, roughly diced

2 red peppers, roughly diced

12 asparagus spears, trimmed and cut in half

1 tbsp olive oil

½ orange, juice only

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

7 oz cooked quinoa

2 oz shredded Chinese cabbage

4 radishes, sliced

2 oz Brie cheese

 

for the dressing

4 toasted sesame seeds

2 fl oz olive oil

3 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp honey

1 tbsp chopped chives

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sprigs of coriander, to garnish

 

Preheat the oven to 375°F / gas 5. Line a large roasting tray with parchment paper.

To prepare the vegetables, place the asparagus spears and beetroot, peppers separately onto the tray. Drizzle over the oil and orange juice. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes.

Check the asparagus spears after 15 minutes, depending on their size they may be done. If so, remove from the roasting tray to a clean plate.

To prepare the dressing, place the seeds, olive oil, rice vinegar, honey and chopped chives into a jar. Seal with a lid and shake well. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

To assemble the salad, you’ll need a platter.

Arrange the vegetables separately around the platter, adding the cooked quinoa, Chinese cabbage and Brie cheese in between.

Spoon over a little dressing and pour the rest into a jug to serve separately.

Sprinkle the radish slices on top.

Garnish with sprigs of coriander.

 

 

Chilli Sweet Potato Hummus 

Makes about 10 oz

 

2 cloves garlic, sliced

7 oz diced sweet potato

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp honey

½ tsp of ground cumin

¼ to ½ tsp dried red chilli flakes

½ lemon
3oz tahini paste

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp salt

4 tbsp cooked chickpeas

Water, to loosen

Honey, to garnish

Lemon zest, to garnish

Coriander leaves, to garnish

 

Preheat the oven to 375°F / gas 5.

Place the garlic slices together with the diced sweet potato on a roasting tray.

Drizzle over the olive oil, honey and add the cumin and dried red chilli flakes.

Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Roast for 20 to 25 minutes until the sweet potato is soft.

Add the cooked sweet potato with all the cooking juices into a food processor.

Pour in the juice and lemon zest.

Add the tahini paste, oil, salt and chickpeas and blend until smooth.

Add a little water if you feel it is too dry.

Stir in honey to taste.

Taste and add salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Spoon into a serving bowl and garnish with a drizzle of honey and some lemon zest.

Add coriander leaves to garnish and serve with such as crudites.

 

Spicy Lime Mussels

Serves 4

 

1 tbsp butter

3 shallots, chopped finely

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 red chilli, sliced and seeds removed

3¼ fl oz white wine

6¾ fl oz vegetable stock

2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped

3 sprigs of coriander

½ lime, juice only

4lb fresh black mussels, cleaned and de-bearded

 

Lime zest, to garnish

Coriander leaves, for garnishing

Crusty bread, to serve

 

To prepare the mussels, heat a large saucepan with butter and add the shallots, sauté for 3 minutes.

Add the garlic and red chilli and sauté for 1 minute before adding the white wine, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and leave to cook for 2 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Add the parsley and coriander.

Add all the mussels at once, cover with a tight-fitting lid and leave to steam for about 3 minutes or until the mussels have opened, discard any that stay closed.

Shake the saucepan from time to time during the steaming process.

Add the lime juice.

To serve, spoon some mussels into the base of 4 bowls, pour over hot broth and then add more mussels on top and a little more broth on the top.

Garnish with lime zest and coriander leaves and serve with crusty bread.

 

 

Lemon Prawn Gratin

serves 4

3½ oz finely diced smoked bacon

3½ oz baby spinach leaves

20 king prawns, peeled, de-veined and rinsed

2¼ oz butter, softened

2 garlic cloves

1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped

1 tbsp chopped parsley

1 lemon, juice

2 to 3 drops (or to taste) Tabasco

3 oz breadcrumbs

1 ½ oz grated parmesan

Sprigs of dill, to garnish

Lemon slices, to serve

 

Preheat the oven to 400°F / gas 6.

Place the diced smoked bacon into a hot frying pan and pan fry until crispy. Set aside.

Combine the butter, garlic, chilli, parsley, lemon juice and Tabasco. Season with salt.

Divide the spinach leaves between 4 individual gratin dishes and spoon over the crispy bacon.

Divide the prawns between the gratin dishes and spread the flavoured butter over them.

Mix the breadcrumbs and parmesan together and sprinkle over the prawns.

Bake in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes until the prawns are cooked –they turn pink and the breadcrumbs are golden.

Garnish with dill and serve with lemon slices

 

 

Beetroot and Orange Salad

Serves 4

4 steamed beetroot, peeled and sliced

3 oranges, sliced

40g baby spinach leaves

10 cheddar cheese slices

 

For the dressing

2 tbsp vinegar

60ml orange juice

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1½ tsp honey

5 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin

Pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chive lengths, to garnish

 

To prepare the dressing, combine all the ingredients and whisk well.

Check the seasoning adding more salt, pepper or a little sugar.

Use a cutter to make circles. The leftover cheese can be used in gratins and toasties.

Arrange the slices of beetroot, orange, spinach and cheese on a platter.

Spoon over a little dressing and garnish with chive lengths.

Serve the rest of the dressing separately.

 

 

Fine foodCatherine FulvioGood living