Day 56 – Corn on the Cob

Today was our last day of regular cooking. This Thursday I have my practical exam where I have to make a three course meal and one bread. Besides that and maybe a few more loaves of bread I am done in the kitchens here! Just when I was getting the hang of it. I made…

Day 47 – Kassler

I started early this morning with a trip to the greenhouse to pick herbs and vegetables for the kitchens. My housemate Chrissy and I picked tomatoes, kohlrabi, courgettes, rocket and herbs. Today I made : Kassler. A cured and oak-smoked loin of pork. I did not care for this – it had a gummy texture, and…

Day 46 – Oyster Shooters

Today I made : Ottolenghi pistachio and rosewater meringues. Like many Dublin girls my mother used to bring me on meringue pilgrimages to Avoca, so they are one of my all time favourite desserts.  This recipe was fun fun fun. I love the rough, rustic presentation. It really makes a difference when you make food…

Day 42 – Pasta

Today I made : Lasagne verde. This took FOREVER. One of the big things I have realised at Ballymaloe is how many corners I cut when cooking at home. If you want to charge money for your food you have to do things right. I had to individually destalk the spinach leaves without bruising them,…

Day 41 – Happy Hour

Today I made : White yeast bread. You have to make most things on the technique list three times. I had only done this once so wanted to tick the box again. I made a plait and dinner rolls, so I also got the ‘shaping dough’ box ticked.  Lemon balm and lemon verbena sorbet. The recipe…

Day 40 – Dark Caramel

  Today I made : Two loaves of bread. One brown yeast, the other white soda. I finished the creme brûlée I started on Wednesday. The teachers say the most important thing when making caramel is to hold your nerve. You want to burn it enough to make that amount of sugar palatable. I held…

Day 18 – Deep Fat Frying

(Disclaimer – The picture of the chickens has nothing to do with this post, so if you want to read about fried chicken look elsewhere. I walk past them every morning and love how the red looks against the green leaves. They were cooperative today and posed for some pics). More bread today. The white yeast dough I…

Day 17 – Bread Heads

I had a productive morning today, and made brown seeded soda bread, French Peasant Soup, lamb and spring vegetable stew and a rhubarb fool with crushed shortbread cookies and meringue. I also made the dough for Ballymaloe white yeast bread and left it for a long, slow, cold overnight rise, which will be continued tomorrow. This…

Sourdough Six : Baking Therapy

This week as I made my sourdough I was reminded of a scene in Julie and Julia. After a particularly stressful day Julie comforted herself by making chocolate cream pie. As she poured the filling into the shell she reflected on the therapeutic values of cooking. “You know what I love about cooking? I love…

Sourdough Take 5

Another week, another batch of sourdough.  For the most part the results have improved, or at least been different, with each attempt. My fourth try was okay.  I tried to save time by using bought potato starch instead of real mashed potato. But the dough was sticky and the bread was dry. Also, I used the…

Sourdough Bread Take 3

It had been weeks since I made sourdough bread. Coming back to real life after a relaxing holiday is never fun but one thing I was genuinely  looking forward to was getting back into the kitchen to continue experimenting with sourdough. The results this time were far superior to my previous attempts which, although satisfactory,…

Sourdough Bread Take 2

This weekend I attempted sourdough for the second time and the results were much better! I used more white flour in the dough to give a lighter texture. I also spent more time kneading the dough. You could really note the difference in the finished result, plus I got a great arm workout!  I am…