30 Aug

Jellybean Rainbow Cake

This cake looks like it was lifted straight from Willy Wonka’s factory, however it is incredibly easy to make. You don’t need to be an experienced baker, all you need is patience. If you’ve come across this because I’ve shared it before the Irish Constitutional Referendum tomorrow. Remember it’s the white page for the Marriage Referendum. I’ll be voting YES or TÁ by placing a nice clear “X” in the box – not a tick as this might not be counted.

I’ve kept my mouth closed about the campaigning and posters for the most part (imagine that). I believe in equality for all families in all their wonderful shapes and sizes – ours doesn’t conform to the “norm” and certain posters have been quite insulting. I’ll be making my vote count tomorrow. I hope that you will choose to vote too.

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28 Aug

Summer Berry Tart

Every now and again I feel like a fresh slice of summer. This is a cheat’s way to create a summer berry tart, anytime of the year.

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13 Aug

Fatless Swiss Roll

Basically a fatless sponge, this swiss roll is made by rolling warm sponge around fresh jam. The key is in how you roll it.

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10 Aug

Apple Tart

Homemade apple tart (pie if you’re not from Ireland), served with cream is an old reliable family celebration dessert.

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31 Jul

Custard Tart

Simple, quick mini custard tarts ideal for lunchboxes, afternoon tea or just a plain treat.

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12 Jul

Polenta Crisp

Gluten-free, sweet and crunchy crisp, this biscuit is perfect for matching with a light fool, jam or on its own.

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15 Jun

Meringue Sundae

Flavoured and coloured, this meringue sundae is far easier to make than it looks.  I’ve been working on this recipe for a “sundae” style meringue since I tasted a gorgeous chocolate meringue from The Tipperary Kitchen at Bloom 2012.  I’m not sure that these are identical but they come darn close!

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12 Jun

Fatless Sponge

Soft berries are now in season. Need I say more? Strawberries and raspberries in the shops herald the start of Birthday season in our house, with more than 5 Birthdays in the month of June it’s a busy month.  For that reason it’s always good to have a fail safe cake recipe that doesn’t take long to make, works well with berries and doesn’t make you feel too guilty for eating yet another slice of cake.
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17 Apr

Gur Cake

It’s always the chef’s prerogative to cook what they like to eat. In our house it means that mushrooms never cross the threshold as I really, really don’t like them.  Luckily I have found a kindred spirit in my husband.  It was the same when I was growing up.  Mam never cooked cabbage which holds memories of that smell permeating the house and a big pot bubbling on the stove for hours on end. There are a couple of other dishes that she didn’t cook or serve while I was growing up that I can remember (Mam if you’re reading this I said remember!). One of which was Gur Cake.
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11 Apr

PB Chocolate Bread Pudding

It’s the Wednesday after Easter and himself has taken the 3 year old off for the day to help digging a garden. This leaves me on my own with the baby, who has just fallen asleep.

Sitting on the kitchen table are a number of Easter Eggs, unopened and while I would really like to crack 1 open and demolish it on the spot I’m craving something a bit more filling so I wander to the cupboard to check out the bread stock.  I was originally intending a crisp and chocolate sandwich which would marry the two salty and sweet flavours in a savoury bit of bread. I begin to salivate a bit.
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18 Mar

Rhubarb and Thyme Tartlet

Today is Mother’s Day in Ireland, or to give it the old title, “Mothering Sunday”. Traditionally celebrated in our home by me being given free license to cook what I want in the kitchen as I have a very able sous-chef (my husband) and visiting/commemorating the mothering figures in our lives. While yesterday was St Patrick’s Day we didn’t mark it in the traditional way of going to watch a local parade or cooking dishes on a green theme. Instead we went to a family reunion in memory of some close family members who are no longer with us. It was a refreshing way to spend St Patrick’s Day and probably just as well because I believe we would have been very wet if we had gone to the parade.

However I am signed up to participate in the Very Good Recipes St Patrick Challenge and so I did need to cook something a little green this week.

There is little in season in the outdoor kitchen garden by way of fruit but rhubarb is just coming into season. The rhubarb plant we cut from is very young and very pink right now. I’m almost afraid to cut from it as I really want to make some chutney and perhaps some wine later on in the Spring. I did get 5 small stalks on Friday and while I was cutting them I noticed a thyme bush nearby and caught the light fragrant scent on the air. The thought struck me then that perhaps the two ingredients would be a good combination providing the thyme wasn’t too overpowering and this is where this recipe started. The thyme flavour lingers in the background and breaks up the sweetness of the tartlet.

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09 Mar

Baked Doughnuts

Many of my food memories are woven around my paternal Grandmother, and they are normally sweet ones. I refer to her now as Granny Ma to our children as she passed away while I was still pregnant with my first child; but to me, all her other grandchildren and her own children she was simply “Ma”. For a while when we were younger we shared her home and then later she moved to live right beside us. You would pass her door every morning on the way to school and do so quietly, so as not to wake her. On the way home from school you’d often hear a tap-tap on the window and see her beckoning you in to share a cup of tea, watch Countdown and a sneaky treat before dinner.

I only remember her making doughnuts once but my Mam tells me that she always made them at Halloween. The time I do remember her making doughnuts it was a weekend and once the word went around to all of our Aunts, Uncles & Cousins that there was a batch on the go her kitchen filled with family members. The smell of warm sugar filled the air, many cups of tea were drunk and we scoffed the lot between about 20 of us. Ma didn’t do things by halves; something I think I’ve inherited.

Doughnuts are something that even now I don’t eat without the memories of that day. The thing is that I’m not a fan of hot pans of oil, even if it is a deep fat fryer, when I have such small children in the house and a small kitchen. So I’ve taken a basic doughnut recipe and tweaked it so that they can be baked in the oven which is far safer and probably a little more heart healthy too. I prefer these jam filled doughnuts without the sugar on top but the kids had to have the real deal. Oh and apologies to my neighbours, as I dropped over a batch of sugar coated doughnuts at their childrens’ bedtime on a Sunday evening. I will try in future to give you advance warning! My name is mud now I think.

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