A Tower of Macarons in a Rainbow of Colours

Holding my breath!

Holding my breath!

Macaroon

600g Ground almonds

600g Icing Sugar

600g Caster Sugar

150g Water

250g Egg Whites

200g Egg Whites

 

White Chocolate  & Orange Ganache

 500ml Single Cream

1000g Chocolate

190g Butter

Zest of 2 oranges

Paul's perfect macaron

Paul's perfect macaron

Method

 Sieve icing sugar and ground almonds together, and then mix in 200g of egg whites to make a thick paste.

Boil water and caster sugar to 117 degrees and whisk in 250g of egg whites.

Beat this mixture with an electric handwhisk to cool it to 40 degrees, then mix into the sugar and almond paste.

Separate into 7 bowls, one for each colour of the rainbow. The colours of the rainbow are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

Pipe macaroons onto lined trays. Leave to rest for around 20 minutes until a crust forms.

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Bake at 150 degrees for 12 minutes or until they’re ready.

Make a ganache. Paint a layer of ganache onto the cone. Use the remaining ganache to fill the macaroons.

Use cocktail sticks to attach the macaroons to the cone in layers. There should be 7 layers of macaroons on the cone. The violet layer should be on the bottom.

Serve on the cake stand. 

My Macaron Tower in the Great Irish Bake Off Final 2014 '...close to perfect...' according to Paul Kelly, Executive Pastry Chef in the 5 star Merrion Hotel...

My Macaron Tower in the Great Irish Bake Off Final 2014 '...close to perfect...' according to Paul Kelly, Executive Pastry Chef in the 5 star Merrion Hotel...

Strawberry Charlotte Ruisse


Paul's perfect Charlotte...

Paul's perfect Charlotte...

Sponge Fingers

125g Plain Flour

125g Caster Sugar

4 Egg yolks

4 Egg whites 

Icing sugar for dusting

Custard

250ml cream

250ml milk

100g sugar

8 egg yolks

Vanilla Pod

Strawberry Bavarois

Custard

6 leaves Gelatin

450g Strawberries

45g caster sugar

Lemon juice to taste

500ml cream

 Cranberry Jelly

300ml cranberry juice

2 leaves gelatin

Water to taste

Sugar to taste

Decoration

50g Strawberries

Apricot jam

Transfer

White Chocolate for tempering


METHOD

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees

Make the sponge fingers by whisking the egg whites, gradually adding in the  sugar until it peaks. Mix in egg yolks and sift in the flour.

Pipe sponge fingers to a length of 3 inches each. Dust the fingers with icing sugar and allow to rest to form crust. Place in the oven for 11 minutes or until they’re ready.  

Make a strawberry puree by heating strawberries with caster sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice. Blitz them with hand blender. Leave them to simmer and it’ll slowly reduce to a thick puree.

Whip cream until it’s thick but not forming peaks.

Soak the gelatin in cold water

Make a custard by heating milk and adding in a vanilla pod. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until thick and creamy.

Remove flavourings from milk. Add the egg and sugar mixture to the milk.

Heat gently stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens.

Leave the custard to cool slightly and then add in enough to the strawberry puree ensuring you have a total mixture weighing 500g.


Mix in the gelatin and then fold in the semi-whipped cream when the bavarois has cooled.  

Prepare the tin by lining it with clingfilm, then line it on base and sides with the sponge fingers. Trim fingers to fit.  

Pour in the bavarois and leave the mixture to set.

Make a cranberry jelly. When it’s ready, pour the jelly onto the bavarois. Leave to set.

Arrange strawberries to garnish and glaze with apricot jam.

Temper the white chocolate, coat the transfer and use it to create ribbon effect around the base of the bake.


Serve on the cake stand. 

Pear Tarte Tatin with Crème Anglaise

 

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Rough Puff Pastry

450g Strong flour

Pinch of salt

20g of lemon juice

300g of cold butter

240g cold water

Filling

10 Pears, peeled and cored.

40g butter unsalted

150g caster sugar

Hazelnuts for decoration

Crème Anglaise

250ml milk

250ml cream

8 egg yolks

60g sugar

Vanilla pod

You’ll need a frying pan with a stainless steel handle.

Pastry

Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl, add water and lemon juice.

Dice the cold butter into large chunks and lightly rub into the flour. You need to see the chunks of butter.  

Once the pastry comes together, leave it in the fridge for a few minutes to chill.

Turn out onto a lightly floured board, knead gently and form into a smooth rectangle.

Roll the dough in one direction only, until 3 times the width, about 20 x 50cm.

Don’t overwork the butter, you should be able to see butter chunks.

Fold the top third down to the centre, then the bottom third up and over that almost like you’re folding an envelope.

Roll it once more and then wrap it in clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. This is the first ‘turn’. You need to roll out the pastry, fold it and refrigerate twice more before the pastry is ready.

Preheat your oven to 210 degrees /190 fan

Caramel

Make dry caramel by sprinkling sugar onto a hot pan, soften with butter.

Peel and quarter the pears and arrange them in a spiral, starting on the outside and working your way in, so that they fit tightly in the pan.

Cook until a golden caramel has formed and excess liquid has evaporated. Cool a little.

Place pastry on top, turning edges in, and bake at 190°C for 20-25 minutes, or until pastry is crisp and golden brown. Cool for about 10 minutes.

Strain any excess juice into a bowl and carefully turn out. Finish by sprinkling coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts around the edge of the tart.

Crème Anglaise

Heat milk and add in a vanilla pod. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until thick and creamy.

Remove flavourings from  milk. Add the egg and sugar mixture to the milk.

Heat gently stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens.

Poppyseed and Caramalised Onion Bagels

I love bagels...!

I love bagels...!

6 Caramelized Onion Bagels

250g Starter dough or a 7g sachet of fast acting yeast

20ml Golden Syrup

300g Strong White Flour

45g Water

6g Salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 red onions

2 tblsp brown sugar

Balsamic Vinegar to taste.

  

6 Poppyseed Bagels

250g Starter dough or a 7g sachet of fast acting yeast

20ml Golden Syrup

300g Strong White Flour

45g Water

6g Salt

Poppyseeds

 

For poaching

2.5 litres of water

100ml Golden Syrup

 

Method

Fry diced onions in olive oil, sprinkle on brown sugar and add balsamic vinegar to taste. Leave to cool.

 

To make the first dough, mix the golden syrup, water, flour and salt – add the starter dough or yeast and bring it together into a dough.

 

Add 100g of the cooled onions. Divide dough into 6 even pieces. Roll each dough ball to develop gluten.  Cover loosely with clingfilm. Leave aside to prove for at least 30 minutes or until it doubles in size.

 

Make the plain dough. Divide into 6 pieces. Roll each dough ball to develop gluten. Cover loosely with clingfilm. Leave aside to prove for at least 30 minutes or until it doubles in size.

 

Make a large hole in each of the dough balls, if the hole isn’t large enough, it’ll close up during baking. Leave the bagels for another 10 minutes.

 

Add golden syrup to 2.5 litres of water and bring to the boil.

Preheat the oven to 230degrees/210 fan.

Using a slotted spoon, poach each bagel for at least 2 minutes. This helps give them their nice glossy look. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.  

Sprinkle the 6 plain bagels with poppyseeds.

Place all 12 bagels in the oven at 210c for 15-20 mins or until they’re ready.

Apple & Ginger Strudel with Honey & Walnut Cream

Flaky Filo Pastry with a generous scoop of thick Glenilen Clotted Cream...Yum!

Flaky Filo Pastry with a generous scoop of thick Glenilen Clotted Cream...Yum!

Ginger Sponge

200g Self raising flour

200g brown sugar

1tsp ground ginger

1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

55g butter

1 egg, beaten

2 tbsp golden syrup

240ml warm water

Prepare a swiss roll tin  by greasing it and lining it with parchment paper.

Per-heat the oven to 180 degrees/160 fan Sift the flour, sugar, ginger and bicarbonate of soda together. Rub the butter in until it reaches a breadcrumb-like feel. Add the beaten egg, syrup and warm water and mix well. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about 30 minutes or until it’s springy to touch. Cool and crumble.


Strudel Filling

1.2kg Apples (net weight)

100g raisins

Sprinkle of brown sugar

Cinnamon to taste

100g melted butter (for brushing)

Peel and dice the apples, fry them in a pan and then sprinkle cinnamon on top. Leave to cool.


Strudel Paste

300g Strong Flour

½ teaspoon salt

155ml water

45ml vegetable oil, plus additional for coating the dough if needed.

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

Sieve the flour and salt together. Mix the oil, vinegar and water together, then add to the flour. Mix the dough until smooth paste is formed and then knead it vigorously for at least 5 minutes. Cover in clingfilm and allow it to sit.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees/180 degrees fan.

Place your tablecloth onto the counter, dust with flour and place the dough on top. Roll out the pastry into a large square and proceed to stretch, using your knuckles and the back of your hands. Continue until the pastry is transparent.

Identify the area you’re going to work within and brush melted butter onto it.

Evenly distribute crumb, apples, raisins. Sprinkle a little brown sugar.

Trim dough and tuck the sides in. Brush melted butter along the edges.

Using the tablecloth, gently roll the strudel into shape.

Place on a greased tray which has been lined with parchment paper. Brush evenly with the remaining butter – this will help keep the strudel moist and prevent it from cracking on top.

Place in the oven for 30 mins or until ready. Leave to cool on a wire rack, or eat warm if you prefer.

Honey & Walnut Cream

140ml cream

1 tbsp honey

30ml crème fraiche

25g toasted walnuts.

Fry the walnuts in a dry pan to toast them,  allow them to cool and then roughly chop them.  Whip cream and when it begins to thicken, add honey, mix in crème fraiche and add the walnuts.


Paul's Strudel Perfection...

Paul's Strudel Perfection...




  

Chocolate & Vanilla Checkerboard Biscuits

Checkerboard Cookies

The technical challenge from week 3 of The Great Irish Bake Off

Bakers were asked to present the judges with 12 ‘Checkerboard’ cookies.

One set of 6 cookies were to be wrapped in Vanilla dough.

The other of 6 cookies were to be wrapped in Chocolate dough.

Paul's Checkerboard Cookies...perfection personified!

Paul's Checkerboard Cookies...perfection personified!

Vanilla Dough

300gr plain flour

150gr caster sugar

150gr butter

1 egg

Few drops of vanilla essence

 

Chocolate Dough

300gr plain flour

150gr caster sugar

150gr butter

1 egg

20gr cocoa powder

 

Assembly

Flour for dusting

1 egg

 

Making the Doughs

Cream butter and sugar together using an electric hand whisk, until they’re light and fluffy. Add the egg and the vanilla essence an mix again.

Sieve in the flour and use your hands to bring it together to a smooth dough. Wrap it in clingfilm and place in the fridge until it’s a bit firmer.  

Repeat the above steps again, adding cocoa powder to give the 2nd batch a much darker colour. Refrigerate until it’s set.

 

Assembling the cookies

 

When the doughs are ready, roll both of them out to the same width and length.

 

Cut 10 equal strips from the chocolate dough and 8 equal strips from the vanilla dough. This is enough to make 2 sets of each biscuit.

 

Build the biscuits by using 9 strips for each log. Arranging them in a checkerboard fashion.  Brush on egg wash to glue sides together when you’re assembling.

 

Roll out a thin layer of the remaining vanilla dough, brush egg wash onto it and wrap one of the logs in it. Place in the fridge until it’s firm.

 

Roll out a thin layer of the remaining chocolate dough, brush egg wash onto it and wrap the other log in it. Place in the fridge until it’s firm.

 

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees / 130 degrees fan.

 

When the logs are ready, cut biscuits from each log. If you have any leftover doughs, they can be wrapped in clingfilm and frozen – you can cut the biscuits and bake them at a later date if you wish.

 

Bake for 12 minutes. Leave to cool.

In a heatproof bowl over a simmering pan of water, melt the white chocolate. Dip the base of the 6 vanilla biscuits into it. Leave to cool on a wire rack

 

In a heatproof bowl over a simmering pan of water, melt the dark chocolate. Dip the base of 6 chocolate biscuits into it. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

 

Serve.

Traditional Dingle Pies accompanied by a Spring Broth

Biddy's Dingle Pie with a Spring Broth

Biddy's Dingle Pie with a Spring Broth

Hot Water Crust Pastry

375g plain white flour

90g lard

225ml water

¾ Tsp sea salt

1 egg (to glaze)

Pie Filling

400g spring lamb

1 carrot

A handful of parsley

A sprig of wild apple mint

A few wild garlic leaves

2 tsp thyme

Small knob of butter

For the broth

200 ml clarified lamb stock

1 onion

1 stick celery

1 carrot

1 leek

1 tblsp wild rowanberry jelly

Method

Trim excess fat from the meat and cut it into small cubes. Leave aside until you make the dough.

Peel the carrot and chop it up into small pieces. Melt some butter in a pan and fry up the carrot for a few minutes, sweating off any excess liquid.

Hot Water Crust Pastry

Melt the lard and salt in a saucepan of hot water and simmer.

Mix in flour, be careful as the mix will be very hot at this stage. Knead the mixture until it forms a dough and then divide the dough into 8 even pieces. Keep warm and pliable. If the dough hardens, place it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it.

Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees/180 degrees fan.

When ready, roll out the dough and cut out 4x 13cm circles and 4 x16 cm circles of dough. Bakers used their bowls to do this – you may have something in your cupboards of the correct size too.

Assembly

When dough is ready, place even portions of the pie fillings onto each of the 13cm circles. Season to taste.

Place 16cm circles of dough on top and seal them together using egg wash.

Use the 13cm bowl to trim the outer edge of each pie, making them all a uniform shape and size. On each pie, pinch the outer edges and fold inwards, pressing with your index finger, work your way around the pie to create a decorative rope shaped outer edge.

This is how my Dingle Pies turned out in the tent...Paul said my Spring Broth was 'Stunning'!

This is how my Dingle Pies turned out in the tent...Paul said my Spring Broth was 'Stunning'!

Decoration

When you have all 4 pies shaped, brush egg over the pies. Cut a small cross in the top of each pie and peel back the peaks of the cross slightly so there is a small hole.

Cut out 12 leave shapes from the leftover dough and place 3 on each of the 4 pies.

Place in the oven at 200 degrees/180 degrees (fan) for about 20 minutes or until the liquid begins to bubble through the hole, then turn it to 165/145 degrees (fan) to prevent overflow of juices. Continue baking until done through and golden brown.  The whole bake should take between about 40- 45 minutes.

For the broth, heat the stock and add rowanberry jelly to taste and season to taste. Finely chop the vegetables. Add to stock and cook lightly. Serve in a jug alongside the pies.

Biddy's did look absolutely beautiful and very inviting...of course we didn't see it until we had all finished and presented our own versions!

Biddy's did look absolutely beautiful and very inviting...of course we didn't see it until we had all finished and presented our own versions!

Rose and Lemon Battenberg Cake

Ingredients

Battenberg Cake

  • 175g softened butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 175g Self Raising flour
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 tsp Rose water
  • Red food colouring gel

 Almond Paste

  • 200g ground almonds
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 30g icing sugar (for dusting)
  • 3 drops vanilla extract
  • 80ml water
  • 50ml pasteurised egg white

 Assembly

  • 150g apricot jam
  • Icing Sugar (for dusting)
  • 20cm Square Cake Tin

Method

Preparing the tin.

  1. Grease the sides of a 20cm square cake tin and line the base with a square of baking parchment.
  2. Using parchment paper, make a divider which separates the tin into 2 sides.
  3. Cut out a large square of parchment, fold in half and on the open edges on each side, fold another flap (about 3-4 cm) facing outwards. When you turn it upside down, it should look like a t shape.

 Almond Paste Recipe

  1. In a bowl, sieve the ground almonds and icing sugar together.
  2. Add the egg whites, the water and the vanilla extract.
  3. Mix it slowly until it comes together into a firm dough.  It’ll be quite sticky at the beginning but the more you work with it, the firmer it’ll become.
  4. Wrap it in cling film and leave in the fridge until you need to use it.

Cake recipe

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees/ 150 degrees fan.
  2. Using an electric hand whisk, cream the butter until it’s soft and pale. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, beating all the time, then sift in the flour, folding it in to combine.
  3. Divide the mixture between two bowls. Add the food colouring & the rose water to one mixture.
  4. Add the juice and zest of one lemon to the other mixture.
  5. Place the folded piece of parchment paper into the tin, dividing the tin in half. Pour the batters into the tin.
  6. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes. The cake will be ready if you touch the top of it and it springs back.
  7. Leave in the tin to cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cake from the tin and place on the wire rack to cool down completely.

Assembly

Cutting the Battenberg
  1. Gently heat the jam until it’s runny and then push it through a sieve to get rid of any lumps.
  2. When cake is cooled, cut 2 even rectangle shapes from the rose cake and 2 from the lemon cake. Brush them lightly with jam and stick them together in a Battenberg pattern.
  3. Roll out the marzipan on a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar.
  4. Spread jam onto the marzipan and onto the outer layers of the cake.
  5. Roll the cake in the marzipan.
  6. Cut off the edges to tidy the ends up.
  7. Score the marzipan gently on top creating a diamond pattern - Although this bit wasn't in our recipe on the day!
Battenberg Finished

Mille Feuille of Sable, Chantilly Cream and Spring Berries

My First Paul Kelly recipe, Mille Feuille of Sable with Chantilly Cream and Spring Berries (...together with my first ever attempt at Spun Sugar!)

My First Paul Kelly recipe, Mille Feuille of Sable with Chantilly Cream and Spring Berries (...together with my first ever attempt at Spun Sugar!)

To Bake 9 sable biscuits and arrange them in towers of 3, using cream, berries and spun sugar to decorate.

Sable Biscuits

Ingredients

250g Flour

90g Icing Sugar

30g Ground Almonds

150g Butter

50g Eggs

2g Salt

 

Mix the dry ingredients together and add the egg. Knead the ingredients until they are at the correct consistency, then wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge.

When chilled, take the sable from the fridge, roll it out and using pastry cutters to cut out 9 thin biscuits. Place them on a baking tray and bake at 170 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until they are ready.

Decoration

Ingredients

350ml Fresh Cream

1 Vanilla Pod

50g Icing Sugar

3 Strawberries

3 Blueberries

3 Raspberries

Whip the cream adding the icing sugar and the seeds from the vanilla pod to taste. Using 3 sable biscuits, the Chantilly cream as well as one strawberry, onw blueberry and one raspberry per tower - assemble a mille feuille. Repeat three times.

Spun Sugar

Ingredients

250g Caster Sugar

225g Cold Water

Bring the sugar a water to a simmer in a saucepan. Use a pastry brush dipped in cold water to brush down the inner side of the pan to prevent sugar crystals forming while simmering. Cook the syrup until it reaches a pale amber colour.

Sugar syrup is incredibly hot at this stage, please be careful!

Immediately remove from the heat and plunge the pan into cold water to halt the cokking.

To spin the sugar, take two forks places back to back and hold tightly. Dip the forks into the syrup and flick back and forth over a rolling pin or ladle to create long hair like strands.

Next gather up the strands of spun sugar and simply shape them by moulding the strands in your hands.

Arrange the mille feuille and the spun sugar on a black slate for presentation.

 

For the eagle-eyed among you, spot Khade in the background...I didn't realise then that he was going to make me laugh until I was sick everyday we spent together at the Great Irish Bake Off!

Danish Pastries

 

Prep time 2.5 hours    Cook time  8-10 minutes    Makes 36 

things you need 

454g irish butter 

85g all purpose flour 

590g milk 

100g castor sugar 

10g sea salt 

21g dried yeast 

1000g all purpose flour 

2 eggs 

5g lemon juice 

5g almond extract

here’s how... 

In a mixer cream the butter and 85g of flour and divide this mixture in 2. Between two sheets of cling film, shape each half into a flat sheet about 15cm x 30cm and refriger-ate till later. 

In the bowl of your stand mixer, put the yeast and flour. Warm the milk to luke warm and add to it the sugar and the salt. With the mixer on slow pour the milk into the flour and add the eggs, lemon juice and almond extract kneading the dough until it comes together cleanly away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should appear smooth rather than raggy. 

Allow the dough to rest covered in a clean, lightly oiled bowl until doubled in size, about an hour. When ready, weigh the dough and divide into two pieces for ease of handling. Keeping one half covered, roll each half in turn into a sheet about 40cm x 40cm. Place a cold sheet of butter on each dough sheet and fold the dough over it like a book cover, pinching the edges to seal them. Roll the dough into a rectangle about 45cm x 30cm and fold it into thirds. Wrap each piece in cling film and refriger-ate for about 30 minutes. 

One by one, roll out each piece of dough and fold it in three again, repeating the process before rewrapping and returning the dough parcels to the fridge. If the dough warms up too much at this stage, it will become difficult to manage so work quickly to keep the temperature down. 

To make the individual pastries, roll and shape as required and add the filling of your choice. Bake the pastries in an oven pre-heated to 220OC for 8-10 minutes. 

Cool on a wire tray for as long as you can bear it before glazing and enjoying! 

four to try... 

rum & raisin 

apricot schnapps 

cinnamon swirls 

maple & pecan 

the sell your soul bit... 

Apricot simmer 8 apricot halves in 50g of peach schnapps, 30g of sugar and 50g of water over a medium heat for about 8 minutes until a skewer easily pierces all the way through. Allow to cool and pat dry when ready to use on your pastry. Save the poaching liquid to glaze your finished pastries. 

Cut pastry into squares and fold two opposing corners into the center to meet plac-ing a half apricot gently in each of the unfolded corners. Brush with a little egg wash. Bake! 

Raisin the night before you need them, pop a handful of raisins into a jar with a good dash of dark rum and given it a good shake. Turn it upside down a couple of times when you think of it and the raisins will plump up absorbing the rum. 

Roll your pastry into a rectangle to a depth of about 1cm and brush the surface with the unabsorbed rum, or a little water if there’s no rum. Generously sprinkle the rum en-gorged raisins on the pastry and roll either into a short fat, or a long narrow, tight roll, depending on what size pastries you are looking for. Slice into rounds. Brush with a lit-tle egg wash. Bake! 

Cinnamon mix a good teaspoon of cinnamon with three good table spoons of brown soft sugar. Roll your pastry into a rectangle to a depth of about 1cm and brush the surface with a little water. Generously sprinkle the sugar cinnamon mix on the pastry and roll either into a short fat, or long narrow, tight roll, depending on what size pastries you are looking for. Slice into rounds. Brush with a little egg wash. Bake! 

Pecan mix together 100g of chopped pecans, 120g of maple syrup and a tea-spoon of ground cinnamon. Spread this on your rolled rectangle of Danish pastry and roll tightly and cut into rounds—if you are feeling adventurous you could try plaiting individual pastry rectan 

drizzles & glazes... 

Danish pastries are all the more delicious when drizzled or glazed with something sweet. Try mixing some icing sugar with a little boiling water to create a thick paste which you can drizzle from the end of a teaspoon. This works well for cinnamon, raisin and pecan pastries. For the apricot pastries, re-duce the poaching liquid over a medium high heat by two thirds. Use this to glaze the baked pastries. If you didn’t poach your own fruit, then glaze with a little warmed apricot jam mixed with a teaspoon of water and sieved.