Donal Skehan
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  • Apple, cinnamon and honey porridge! The best way to start October! Good morning! :)
  • It's Nonna central on the blog today! This lovely lady was from Matera and show me how to make crappiatta a peasant soup with lots of grains...
  • Pesto, green bean and potato lasagne on the blog this evening as part of my Mambo Italiano blog post! Check it out! :)
  • Fig, honey & almond cake! Made this with local figs, honey and almonds in Matera this time last year! Would so love to be back there right now! :) #italy #cake
  • New blog post featuring some of the brilliant Nonnas I met in Italy last year plus some great Italian recipes! Check it out on DonalSkehan.com...
  • Oh hello! :) #maxthedog
  • Out blackberry picking yesterday...
  • Blackberry & Custard Doughnuts- recipe coming up this weekend...
  • Thai Fish Cakes- how to make them video over on my youtube channel! Head over and subscribe! :) 👍
  • Misty warm morning in #Howth! Deep breath and have a great week folks! :)
  • Picked loads of sloes today! All set to make some gin next week! :)
  • Having a go at curing my own bacon this weekend! Seems to be fairly easy- will report when done! Pork belly rubbed with sugar, salt and herbs.
  • Nutella stuffed brioche French toast! Anyone for a bit of brunch? :)
  • Such an epic day out there! Just back from a two hour walk around the cliffs of #Howth! Happy weekend folks! #ireland
  • A bit of #mittkök madness this morning on Swedish telly! Was making cannelloni with spinach and mushrooms! :)
  • Vietnamese caramel salmon in my new weekly column in the Irish independent today! Delicious recipe traditionally made with catfish- it's sweet and sticky and very easy to make! :)
  • Salted caramel peanut mud pie up on the blog! Tag a friend for a special Friday treat! What are you baking this weekend? :)
  • Red velvet cheesecake! Recipe up on @jamiesfoodtube this evening with @eric_lanlard! Grab a slice for a pal! :)
  • Post workout juice- apple, carrot, ginger, celery, cucumber & beetroot! Better @tonedfit?
  • Max can't take selfies but wanted a photo taken with his favourite view on our walk this eve! :) #howth #ireland #maxthedog
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Semlor (Swedish Cream Buns)

Semlor or cream buns are incredibly popular in Swedish bakeries. Traditionally they are eaten on pancake Tuesday know as fettisdag or Fat Tuesday in Sweden. During winter taking a break for “Fika” the Swedish word for taking a break from the day to enjoy some coffee, tea and something sweet would normally include one of these cream and almond paste filled sweet buns.

Makes about 18 buns
700g plain flour
140g caster sugar
A pinch of salt
2 teaspoons of freshly ground cardamom
350ml milk
2 x 7g sachets of dried yeast
150g salted butter, softened
1 large free range egg

Almond paste:
250g of skinless, blanched almonds
225g caster sugar
A few tablespoons of milk
A little icing sugar to dust
750ml double cream, whipped

Melt the butter in a large saucepan and pour the milk in, heat until lukewarm. Mix in the yeast.

In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, salt, and the cardamom. Make a well in the dry ingredients and mix in the wet ones along with the egg. Bring a dough together and knead on a clean floured work surface for 4 minutes. Place back in the bowl and cling film and a tea towel and leave to prove in a warm, dark place for 45-60 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 190°C. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface, divide the dough into 18 pieces (80g each) and roll each into a ball. Put the buns on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the buns with a little beaten egg or milk and bake in the centre of the oven for about 10 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire wrack.

Prepare the almond paste by blitzing the almonds and caster sugar in a food processor. Then add a few drops of milk until you have thick smooth paste. Place in the fridge to firm up and become solid.

Cut a triangle out of the top of each bun and scoop out some of the insides, to make a small hole for the filling. Save the breadcrumbs in a mixing bowl.

Grate the almond paste into the breadcrumbs and bring together a creamy paste using a few tablespoons of milk. Fill the buns with tablespoons of the filling and then pipe whipped cream on top. Place the the tops back on, dust the buns with icing sugar and serve.

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Kitchen Dresser and Jerusalem Artichoke Soup…

Let me introduce you to Pearl Skehan, my grandad’s cousin, from Co. Tipperary, 97 years young and the inspiration for my kitchen dresser pictured at the top of this post.  Pearl has always been a bit of a dynamo and has us in stitches with stories of times gone by.  I was visiting Pearl last year and was reminded of the fantastic old kitchen dresser she has in her kitchen.  Mint green all over with pale yellow shelves and knobs, and a beautiful old collection of plates, which are her prized possessions.  All last year I was on a mission to try and find something similar for our cottage.  During the summer I got a text from Sharon Hearne Smith with an image attached of a sweet little vanilla yellow, kitchen cabinet/dresser she had seen at Herman Wilkinson auction house in Dublin.  I knew it was the one.  Some fairly nerve wracking bidding took place the following day, I won with a bid of €100 and that was that, she was coming home with us!  On closer inspection, the dresser was sticky with dirt and the shelves had been covered with a horrible red plastic- that was first to go.  After a lot back and forth, sanding and painting we finally decided on a vintage blue colour with yellow shelves.  My two favourite features however are both gifts from Pearl, vintage wallpaper from her house, which I used to line the back of the cabinet and the photo of my great grandmother Molly which now sits pride of place on the second shelf.  Both complete this kitchen dresser story perfectly.

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Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Rocket Pesto

There are many ways to enjoy Jerusalem artichokes, but soup is one of the easiest ways to create something wonderful with them. Cooking them gently with onions brings out their sweet, earthy and slightly smoky notes. You can serve the soup simply as it is, or make a quick pesto to drizzle over the top. Crispy pancetta and Parmesan shavings are also good garnishes.

Serves 6
A good knob of butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
800g of Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
800ml of vegetable stock
60ml of cream
Sea salt and ground black pepper

For the rocket pesto:
A generous handful of rocket
A small handful of pine nuts
A small handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
6-8 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper

Place a medium pot over a medium high heat and melt the butter until it begins to foam.

Add in the onion and sweat for 6 minutes until tender. Add in the Jerusalem artichoke cubes, cover with a lid and allow to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the Jerusalem artichokes are tender when pierced with a fork.

Remove the pot from the heat and using a hand blender, blitz until completely smooth. If you find the soup is too thick, add a little boiling water, to loosen it. Season with sea salt and ground black pepper.

Pour in the cream and continue to blitz until the soup is frothy.
Serve straight away drizzled with rocket pesto.

For the rocket pesto:
Place all the ingredients in a mortar and pestle and bash until you have a smooth mixture. Taste and season with sea salt and ground black pepper. Add a little extra oil if you prefer a looser pesto.

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