All posts filed under: The Latest

Recipe – Coffee cake

One of my favourite things is a cup of scalding hot, delicious coffee, the type you could inhale all day, and a slice of buttery, indulgent coffee cake. This recipe is one I make based on two of my favourites from the queens of baking, Darina Allen in Ballymaloe and Mary Berry. I leave out walnuts because I can’t bear them, but like to decorate with pecans. Coffee cake with mascarpone icing Ingredients 250g real butter, softened 300g self-raising flour 4 eggs, beaten 250g light soft brown sugar (Or I like to use 100g dark muscovado sugar and 150g caster sugar) 1 tsp real vanilla extract 200ml of very strong coffee, (real or instant) cooled For the mascarpone icing  250g mascarpone 500g icing sugar Cooled, sweetened coffee to taste Cocoa powder to decorate Pecan nuts to decorate (optional) Method Preheat oven to 180C or Gas mark 4. Butter 2 x 20cm sandwich tins and line the bottoms with greaseproof paper. Beat the butter and sugar together until light, pale and creamy. Add the vanilla extract. …

Recipe – The ultimate pancakes by Gary O’Hanlon

Happy Pancake Tuesday! Chef Gary O’Hanlon shares his recipe for the ‘Pancakes to end all pancakes.’ Don’t be shy with the maple syrup. Gary says these pancakes are ‘next level amazing.’ Pancakes with Berries, Vanilla Cream, Nutella and Maple Syrup What you’ll need 1 10 or 12 inch non-stick pan (the heavier the better) 1 bowl 1 whisk 1 ladle 10g of butter per pancake A sieve A bottle of Maple syrup A jar of Nutella Large serving plate Ingredients Berry Compote 10 raspberries 10 blueberries 10 blackberries 5 strawberries diced up. 2 tsp caster sugar. Mix everything together very slowly until the sugar dissolves and there’s a lovely sheen to your berries and set aside. Pancake Batter 3 eggs 100g caster sugar (you can add a little more if you prefer them sweeter but bear in mind we’ll also be using sweetened cream & maple syrup) 400 ml full fat milk 100-200g of flour. 2 tsp icing sugar Method For the cream Add all the ingredients to a bowl and blend with an electric …

Forgiving and forgiveness

We are in the twilight of the season of goodwill, the season where we reconnect. We are to be good and generous, we embrace family and friends, old and new, and spread good tidings and kindness. Everything is amplified in two weeks of love and understanding and supposed to be a peppermint flavour of perfect. But, thankfully, life is not perfect and with reconnection comes memories, good and bad. We realise that some wounds have healed, some are nicked open, and forgiving, and forgiveness, can be a huge challenge during this period. A mince pie and gulp of mulled wine do not always help the spiky swallow of anger or pain in the name of Christmas. What is forgiveness? You wrong me, I wrong you. Whatever the response to either of these is where forgiveness lies. Forgiveness is hope. And about how much you care about the person, and they for you. The absolute key is the acknowledgment of the hurt. Then to apologise and to try to learn from it, and behave better. The …

The other yummy things at Christmas – recipes by Gary O’Hanlon

The roasties, the gravy, the cranberry sauce, the lovely sides and extra things that adorn the plates and fill the fridge and presses. One of my favourite things about eating at Christmas are the extras. I asked Chef Gary O’Hanlon from Longford’s Viewmount House (which recently became part of the Blue Book) for some recipes for some extra special festive extras. The delicious things that gild the Christmas lily. Here he shares his recipes for roast potatoes, brussels sprouts (that even impressed his in-laws) and a cracking recipe for an Espresso Martini. Goose Fat, Polenta Crusted Maris Piper Roasties Maris pipers hands-down make the best chips, best baked potatoes and the best roasties. Throw in the flavour from goose fat, herbs and the texture from the polenta and you’ll never make a roastie any other way again. Ingredients 10 peeled maris piper potatoes 4tbspn fine polents 200ml goose fat 4 sprigs of thyme 3 sprigs of rosemary Salt and pepper Method Cover the potatoes with cold water, season well, and boil gently until just cooked …

Review – The Village Tavern, Mountcharles, Co. Donegal

Falling in love again with your home county can often happen when you least expect it. Donegal is the tattoo on my heart and the passport I am proudest of. I am in another flush of love with this special, mythical, weather battered, gorgeous and cheeky county at the minute.  I dragged my family out while visiting home this weekend to try The Village Tavern in Mountcharles which is just five minutes from Donegal Town. I had heard very, very good things about the food here, so not even a visit from that rascal Desmond was going to stand in the way. One two-hour journey from my homeplace in north-west Donegal later, it was certainly worth it. Signature Seafood Tasting Board Tucked into the back of an unassuming pub in the main village of Mountcharles, lies a roaring fire and delicious food that far surpasses any pre-conceptions of rural pub grub. The whole menu was like George Clooney had just married seafood and was showing her off to the world. The starters were clever and …