Sunday, 24 June 2012

Prawns in a Blanket

This is great for finger food, there isn't much prep or cooking involved, marinating and some careful folding of the pastry so the prawn doesn't fall out. If your doing finger food I would say allow 3 prawns per person. This is a great recipe as it requires you to go to the Chinese supermarket, if you haven't been there before this is going to be a treat. You could serve this with either some rice, some steamed vegetables or a simple side salad. Enjoy!

12 Large Prawns 
Chili Sauce/Plum Sauce
1 Tbsp Plain Flour              
Peanut Oil
2 Garlic Cloves    
12 Spring Roll Sheets
3 Coriander Roots              
White Pepper
Ginger, Roughly Sliced      
1.5  Tbsp Oyster Sauce


  1. To make the prawns easier to wrap, you can make incisions to straighten the prawns.
  2. Mix the flour and 3 tbsp of water in a small saucepan until smooth, stir and cook over a medium heat for 2 minutes or until thick and remove from the heat.
  3. Using a pestle and mortar / small blender, pound or blend the garlic, coriander roots and ginger together.
  4. In a bowl, combine the garlic paste with the prawns, oyster sauce, pepper and a pinch of salt.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for 2 hours, turning occasionally.
  6. Place a pastry wrap – fold the sheet in half, remove the prawn from the marinade and place it on the sheet with the tail sticking out of the top.
  7. Fold the bottom up and then the sides in to tightly to enclose the prawn.
  8. Seal the joins with the flour paste.
  9. Heat the oil; fry the prawns until golden brown.
  10. Transfer onto a serving plate, serve with chili or plum sauce.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Custard Sauce

This is perfect with crumble, its isn't custard it is a custard sauce which is a bit thinner than custard so don't worry if its not thick - its not supposed to be, Enjoy!

Custard Sauce

50g Castor Sugar
25g Custard Powder
½ Litre Milk
Vanilla Pod

  1. Mix sugar and custard powder together and dilute with a small quantity of cold milk.
  2. Boil remaining milk, with the vanilla pod , add in the custard and milk mixture and stir continuously to make sure there are no lumps and strain and cover 

Sunday, 10 June 2012

The Basics - Shortcrust Pastry

As I have said before I tend to make my own shortcrust and sweet pastry, this is more firm in texture and give a crumbly texture when cooked. Perfect for apple tarts, for the fruit tartlets from a previous post. This is a great recipe to start off then build your way up, the pastry can be frozen once made into a dough so some for now and some for later. If you are going to freeze it, it needs to be wrapped in cling film but try not to have it in a large ball, roll it to about 1-2 inches thick, this makes it slimmer for storage and won't take as long to defrost. Enjoy!

900g Soft /Cream Flour
456g Butter (Unsalted)
227g Castor Sugar
1/4 Pint of Milk
3 Eggs


  1. Mix the butter and the flour to a breadcrumb texture.
  2. Add the milk and the sugar.
  3. Add the eggs to form a dough.
  4. Wrap in cling film and store in the fridge.

*you need to allwo it to rest for 30 mintues before using.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Edinburgh and my cake adventures

Edinburgh is such a nice city to work in, even though I'm working 20 mins (by train) outside of the city it's still a quaint town to work in. With friendly people and some good craic it's almost like a home away from home, although they are very much into their tea and I'm so much more of a coffee person that's something I have to say I miss is coming down in the morning to a fresh pot of coffee mmmmm...... But now it's tea I like tea but coffee is my love - writing this while drinking a grande cappuccino from Starbucks.

I'm loving the cake adventures; making display cakes, getting some insider secrets to the world of decorating and coming up with new cupcake combinations - the possibilities are endless. I could pull a JK Rowling and one out with a best seller book called cake adventures about a girl from a far away land who travels across the wide ocean (ocean sounds better than Irish sea) to a far off magical place.... It could write itself!

I have been here ten days now and have gained so much experience I can only hope to gain so much more over the coming weeks and I will be a force to be reckoned with in the Irish cake community you can count on that.
You might want to start placing your orders now I might get to busy and too famous to do them - I wish!

Keep an eye out on the next instalment of Cake Adventures!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Fruit Tartlets

Now here is when you can show off all of the skills you have learned either from what I have given you so far (modest I know), cookery shows, cookbooks whatever or where-ever you get the inspiration These are  perfect for dinner parties as a great way to finish off the meal. It also makes it seem as if you have a great deal of skill when its actually a lot easier than it looks.

This isn't really a recipe it's a how to put it all together.

What You Need:

  1. Creme Patisserie Recipe 
  2. Sweet Pastry Recipe
  3. Selection of Fruit; strawberries, oranges, raspberries, blackberries ect..... apples and bananas don't really go well as once they are cut the oxidation process begins and they turn brown which doesn't make for an attractive dish. 
  4. Apricot Jam

  1. Make the pastry as stated in the recipe, 
  2. Bake blind* at 180/gas ark 4 for 12 minutes until the pastry is cooked
  3. Make the creme patisserie as stated in the recipe 
  4. Fill into the cooled, cooked pastry cases 
  5. Place the chopped fruit on the creme patisserie 
  6. Put the apricot jam in a pot and bring to the boil
  7. Using a pastry brush gently brush the apricot jam (now glaze) onto the fruit to give them a shine
*When baking blind you could using baking beans and then again you could not waste your money. Get cling film (it has to be oven proof - not all of them are!) or parchment paper and cut it an inch bigger than the mould  so that the sides don't collapse. Then fill the tarts with rice grains - you normally have this at home and it doesn't hinder the grains when you go to cook them after. Ask yourself what is better for your wallet - €5 for 70g of baking beans (bare in mind you need about 8 of these to blind bake 4 tartlets at a time) or spend €1.60 in Lidl or Aldi and buy 500g of rice - tough question I know.