MIDWAY through every 12-week certificate course at the Ballymaloe Cookery School, we all pile onto a bus and go on a foodie tour.
Makes 18 cupcakes
8oz (225g) soft butter
8oz (225g) caster sugar
3 large free-range, organic eggs
8oz (225g) self-raising flour
1 dstsp honey or golden syrup
1 tbsp milk
18 pieces chopped chocolate or chocolate buttons
5 ozs (140g) icing sugar
2 ozs (55g) soft butter
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa
2 cupcake trays, lined with paper cupcake cases
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/regulo 4.
Cream the butter well, add the caster sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, adding a teaspoon of flour with each addition. (Beat the mixture well before adding the next egg.) Beat in the honey or golden syrup, and then gently stir in the remaining flour. Stir in the milk and mix thoroughly.
Divide ½ the mixture between the cupcake cases. Pop a piece of chocolate or a good quality chocolate button on top. Divide the remainder of the mixture between the cases. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 20-25 mins, or until cooked and lightly golden. Remove cupcakes from the tray and place on a cooling rack.
Meanwhile, make the icing. Cream the soft butter with the icing sugar and cocoa. Add a little hot milk or water to achieve spreading consistency.
Spoon the icing onto the cupcakes and decorate with a juicy raspberry and a fresh mint leaf.
Cabbage Salad with Raisins and Mint
Serves 8 approx.
If you are tiring of the ubiquitous coleslaw, then you might like to try this fresh-tasting cabbage salad with rape seed oil and honey.
½ white cabbage with a good heart
2-3 large dessert apples, grated — we like
Cox’s orange pippin
2 tbsp raisins
4 tbsp freshly chopped mint
1 tbsp freshly chopped chives
4 tbsp pure Irish honey
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp Second Nature Rape Seed Oil
Cut the cabbage into quarters. Wash it well and discard the coarse outer leaves. Cut away the stalks and shred the heart very finely with a very sharp knife. Put it into a bowl with the grated apple, raisins, freshly chopped mint and chives. Mix the honey, vinegar and rape seed oil together. Toss the salad in the dressing until well-coated. Taste and correct seasoning and serve soon.
Jane’s Brown Bread with Knockmealdown Porter and Walnuts
Jane Hodson, who loves to bake and loved Knockmeal-down Porter, devised this recipe which got an enthusiastic response from everyone who tasted it.
400g (14oz) strong wholemeal flour
50g (2oz) strong white flour
60g (2½oz) walnuts (roughly chopped)
330ml (11fl oz) Knockmealdown Porter brewed by 8 Degrees
100ml (3 ½ fl oz) water
1 tsp honey
1 tsp salt
20g (¾oz) fresh yeast
Loaf Tin 13cm x 20cm (5” x 8”)
Preheat oven to 230C/450F/Gas Mark 8
Sift the flours and salt into a large mixing bowl, adding in the wholemeal chaff left in the sieve. Add in the walnuts and mix well. In a bowl/Pyrex jug put the water and honey and crumble in the yeast. While the yeast is working, grease the tin with the oil and sprinkle lightly with sesame seeds.
The yeast is working when a creamy and slight froth rises to the surface. If this is not happening after a few minutes, put your ear to the jug and you should be able to hear it fizzing.
When ready, pour the yeast mixture and the warmed porter into the flours and mix to form loose wet dough. Pour the dough into the tin, sprinkle to top with sesame seeds and leave, covered with a tea towel (to prevent drying out), in a warmish place until the dough has risen to the top of the tin.
Place in the middle of the oven at 230C/450F/Gas Mark 8 for 20 minutes. Then turn it down to 200c/300F/Gas Mark 6 for another 40 minutes.
Remove from tin and if the sides and base are still soft, return the loaf to the oven for another 10 minutes until it looks nicely browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the base.
Allow to cool on a wire rack.
Where do I find a well-reared bird? They are scarce so it’s never too early to get your order in. We’ve been hearing good things about Mary Walsh’s free range geese from Shellumsrath, Kilkenny, tel: 056–7763426 – www.kilkennyfreerange.com
Find of the Week: Kilree Goats Cheese is another superb goat cheese from Helen Finnegan of Knockdrinna in Stoneyford Village, Co Kilkenny, 056-7728446, www.knockdrinna.com
There’s an Arbutus Night in Isaacs Restaurant, MacCurtain Street, Cork on Friday, Nov 30, the tasting menu is €70. Booking is essential at 021-4503805. Proceeds to Penny Dinners — www.corkpennydinners.ie
The Slow Food Dinner at Sage Restaurant Midleton is a celebration of local food producers. Kevin Ahern will create a 12-mile dinner menu, so come and enjoy the food and meet the producers on Monday, Nov 19, €30 Slow Food members and €35 non-members. Booking is essential, phone 021-4639682.
Darina’s Book of the Week: Clarissa’s Comfort Food. People are becoming increasingly aware of the advantages of simple homemade food that will nourish friends and family instead of buying takeaways or ready meals. This book goes back to basics with food that is delicious and comforting as well as inexpensive and easy to make.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved
|Weekend food with Darina Allen||Basic Pancake Batter and good things to serve with it|
|Gautham Iyer’s Spicy Potato Curry (Urulaikizhangu Kari)||Rachel Allen’s Roasted Cauliflower with Gremolata|
|Lina Gautam’s Spicy Gizzards (Ghuseuto Tareko)||Magnus Nilsson’s scallops|
|Cookbooks for the new year||Catherine Phipps Moroccan Spiced Lamb with Mint and Watermelon Salad|
|Ballyvolane House Hedgerow Martinis||Rachel Allen’s Lamb and Pearl Barley Broth|
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