Donal Skehan
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  • Sure would you look who it is in my favourite place in the world- @bebbrell from @sortedfood! Did the cliff walk and went for a little brunch in The House! Say hello Ben! :) #Howth
  • Huge congrats to the winner of #JuniorMasterChef 2014- the brilliant Phoebe! Myself and @johntorodecooks are super proud! Really brilliant series this year- so inspiring to see such enthusiastic young cooks- hope the show inspires lots more young cooks to get cooking! :)
  • Joe Caulfield my next door neighbour is on #DonalsIrishFEAST tonight! He catches some of the best lobster in #Howth! :)
  • It's all about Dublin tonight on #DonalsIrishFEAST! Peter & Vlad from one of Dublin's best little sour dough bakeries, @arunbakery will be on RTÉ One at 7pm! 🍞
  • 'Twas the panto before Christmas 2009! I was Peter Pan, @bprdowling was a very fabulous Captain Hook and @mastylee was Tinker Bell! #tbt
  • Very foggy but sun came out! Really beautiful day! :)
  • Despite the cold Max went for a swim!
  • Beautiful cliff walk in #Howth this morning before heading to Limerick today! #ireland
  • French onion soup kind of day? MAIS OUI! Try the recipe this evening- C'est délicieux! Find it on DonalSkehan.com... #Recipeoftheday
  • A little bit of Max action from earlier today! Hello Max! :)
  • Mini sticky toffee baked Alaska on my youtube channel tonight! Little sneak peek recipe from my brand new series #donalsirishfeast starting this Thursday on Irish screens! :)
  • Junior MasterChef is back today! Hitting CBBC at 4.30pm with myself, @johntorode1 and 4 budding young brilliant cooks! Make sure to tune in and set to record! :) #JuniorMasterChef
  • Potato, cheese and thyme tart in my Irish independent column today- will stick the recipe up on the blog soon! :)
  • Happy Swedish Kladkakka Day! This my triple layer version with a cream cheese frosting- recipe on my blog! :) #kladdkakansdag
  • Having such a brilliant time on the #KitchenHeroLive Tour around Ireland! Cooking up delicious dishes in theatre venues! In Castlebar tonight with a great crowd- yeehaw! :)
  • Just spent the evening with these crazy Swedish mofo's in the #mittkök studio! Filming new recipes for Sweden! :)
  • Pear frangipane tarts in my Irish Independent Weekend Magazine column today- will stick the recipe on my blog next week! :)
  • Happy Halloween!!! What are cooking today? Lots of Halloween recipes up on my blog including these creepy chocolate eyeballs! 🎃👻
  • Myself and @JohnTorode1 are back with a brand new series of #JuniorMasterChef kicking off on the 10th of November on CBBC! Lots of a brilliant young cooks showcasing their cooking skills! :)
  • Sweet and savoury sticky rice dumplings: sweet green bean paste coated in sesame seeds and aromatic pork mince- deep fried until crisp and bloomin delish! #donalvietnam
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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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