We all have disasters when we are baking cakes – that’s how we learn to bake. There are a few tips and tricks to reduce the number of times that things go wrong from reading the recipe first (obvious but critical) to not combining metric and Imperial and cup measures. Here’s our hard-won advice.
‘There’s something about the smell of fresh soda bread in an Irish Donegal home and we need to keep this baking skill alive’, says chef and cookery school owner Brian McDermott in his book ‘Donegal Table‘ published by The O’Brien Press. ‘I’ve made this Irish soda bread recipe a bit more exciting with the wonderful combination of flavours that is bacon and cheese.’
How to make shortcrust pastry by hand, rolling the pastry, lining a tin or ring and blind-baking the pastry case.
From Rory O’Connell’s book ‘Cook Well, Eat Well’ published by Gill Books. ‘This is suitable for almost any occasion where a rich, delicious cake is required’, says Rory. ‘The flavours are a bull’s eye combination. I sometimes serve this cake with fresh raspberries, which is another flavour that works beautifully here
It may seem strange that we make focaccia in a restaurant that highlights English food, but this bread is on the menu for sentimental reasons. Just before opening The Sportsman I visited The Walnut Tree restaurant in Wales. I was impressed by many things, but the bread board knocked me out: it has a cheese bread, black bread and this focaccia.
A simple tea-time cake which also freezes well. Serve it for dessert with our Baked Greengages with Cumin, Basil and Lime and home-made crème fraîche.
A hand pie is literally that, one you form by hand and one you eat in your hand! They can be as higgeldy-piggeldy as you like in shape as long as you make sure all sides are sealed so the filling stays put (though as you’ll see from our photo this is a virtual impossibility and some of the fruity juices will inevitably leak out). This makes them look even more hand-made so they will be even more of a success. Use any fruit.
This is similar to Claudia Roden’s much-copied and much revered Orange and Almond Cake. A whole orange is used to give flavour and moisture to the cake but you don’t have to boil the fruit for 2 hours as you do in the original recipe once you have a food processor – the orange is blitzed quickly as part of the batter-making process.