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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Dark-Chocolate Beetroot Cupcakes

Don’t be nervous about using beetroot in these cupcakes. They help make a rich chocolate batter and there is just a faint, sweet earthiness.

Makes 9 to 12
100g dark chocolate
200g cooked beetroot, puréed with a blender
110g caster sugar
110g soft butter, softened and cut into small pieces
2 large eggs
175g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
50ml milk

Chocolate frosting:
110g butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
325g icing sugar
4 tbsps cocoa powder
75ml double cream

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and line the bun tray with paper cases.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and then stir in the puréed beetroot.

In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Mix in the flour, baking powder, milk and the chocolate and beetroot mix.

Divide the batter evenly among the paper cases and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until firm. Allow the cupcakes to stand for a minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

To make the chocolate frosting, beat the butter and vanilla extract together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Then, add the icing sugar and cocoa powder, a little at a time, to the double cream until it is all incorporated and the mixture is smooth.

Using a palate knife, frost the cupcakes when they are completely cool.

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Zingy Beetroot, Feta Cheese, Cous cous Salad

You could use any roast vegetable here really, but I particularly love  the combination of the earthy beetroot and the spiky feta cheese. I use  cous cous which is incredibly easy to prepare, but you could also try  using bulghur wheat which is healthier alternative and just as easy to prepare.

Serves 4
4 large cooked beetroot, sliced in quarters
200g of feta cheese
200g of couscous
2 teaspoon of vegetable stock granules
100g of pine nuts, toasted

Dressing:
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Sea salt and ground black pepper to season

Whisk together the ingredients for dressing and set aside.

Put the cous cous in a bowl with the stock granules and cover with boiling water, cover with cling wrap and leave until all the water has been soaked up and the cous cous is nice a plump!  Using a fork fluff up the cous cous when it’s ready.

Toss in the beetroot, along with the dressing, pine nuts and feta cheese.

Serve straightaway or allow to sit for a little to allow the flavours to develop.

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Roast Beetroot, Feta and Bulgur Wheat Salad

Is it just me or does anyone else think beetroot gets a bad rap? I guess it’s had years of being pickled and prodded and denied all it’s pure beauty. The method I use in this recipe is my favourite way to cook it and you are left with a delicious tender vegetable with a real sweet and earthy flavour. Accompanied by a few complimentary friends and you have a spikey and robust Winter salad which will keep you going long into the New Year. I had a few leftover boiled baby potatoes which I popped in the oven also to crisp up, they turned out to make a great crispy addition!

Serves 4
4 fresh beetroot, tops sliced off
12 boiled baby potatoes, sliced in half
200g of feta cheese, roughly crumbled
250g of bulgur wheat

For the dressing:
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, finely minced
A good pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper

Roast off the beetroot first.  Wrap them in tinfoil, place on an oven tray and bake for about 45mins to an hour at 190C/Gas Mark 5 or until you can insert a fork smoothly. Remove from the oven, allow to cool, then peel with knife and slice into thick chunks.

If you are adding leftover potatoes, place them in a roasting tray and drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle over some sea salt and ground black pepper and place them above the beetroot in the oven.

While the beetroot is roasting, prepare the rest of the ingredients for the salad.

Place the bulgur wheat in a bowl, cover with boiling water and cover with cling film.  When all the water has been absorbed, fluff up with a fork and set aside.

Whisk the ingredients for the dressing together and set aside.

Add the dressing, beetroot, and feta (and roast baby potaotes if you wish) to the bulgur wheat and gently stir through.

Serve straight away or alternatively this makes a fantastic little lunchbox filler.

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Beetroot, Goats Cheese, Pine Nut and Rocket Salad

This is a really tasty starter dish which is perfect for preparing the ingredients ahead of time and simply assembling them at the last minute to create a pretty impressive salad. If you don’t want to roast the beetroot yourself, you can by precooked vac packed ones in the supermarket.

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