Donal Skehan
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  • 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
  • Last lunch in Vietnam- delicious Bun Cha- a feast of chargrilled pork, rice vermicelli noodles, lots off fresh herbs with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce! Will so miss the street food here! #donalvietnam
  • Have met a load of lovely people who have been watching my youtube channel here in Vietnam! So cool! Xin Chao! #DonalVietnam
  • Met some crazy #GrandmasBoy fans today in Hanoi! So excited to hear it's been showing here in Vietnam! #DonalVietnam
  • Very excited to be filming at this brilliant little street food market tomorrow for lunch in Hanoi! #DonalVietnam
  • I have yet to meet a film crew who trust me behind the wheel so here I am with my buddy TT biking around Hanoi! Better him than me the traffic is nuts here! :) #DonalVietnam
  • Was up at 3.30am this morning to catch these Vietnamese ladies harvest young green rice- a delicacy in Hanoi at this time of year! Here they are using a machine to separate the rice from the stems... #DonalVietnam
  • Egg coffee for breakfast in Hanoi! Sounds very strange but a combination of egg yolks, condensed milk, sugar, butter and laughing cow cheese is whisked until fluffy and thick and served with hot coffee! Incredible rich taste- like a liquid tiramisu! #DonalVietnam
  • Filmed at one of Hanoi's oldest and most famous restaurants today, Cha Ca La Vong, where they have been serving the same one dish for over 100 years- turmeric fish which is marinated for 12 hours with galangal and fish sauce then threaded onto bamboo skewers and chargrilled over hot coals- the fish pieces are then fried in shallot oil and served to the table on a hot plate where diners mix in dill and spring onions and serve over rice vermicelli noodles with peanuts, coriander, chilli and shrimp paste. Hugely popular here and I can see why! #DonalVietnam
  • Street food at the bustling market in Sapa- this lady was selling spicy pigs ear salad... #DonalVietnam
  • Morning market shopping in Sapa! On the way to Hanoi... #DonalVietnam
  • BBQ Pork with ginger, turmeric, mint and toasted sesame seeds... #DonalVietnam
  • Just can't get over the stunning scenery here! Not bad for a Tuesday! #DonalVietnam
  • On the streets of Sapa making apple wine with apples grown by the Hmong tribe... #DonalVietnam
  • Sad to say goodbye to our fantastic Red Dao hosts for the past three days... Heading to Hanoi tomorrow to focus on street food! #DonalVietnam
  • The incredible dry store at the top of a Red Dao tribe house- here they store corn, rice and pumpkins through the winter. The kitchen is just underneath so the heat and smoke helps to dry the produce out... #DonalVietnam
  • Brilliant few days filming with the Red Dao tribe just outside Sapa! #DonalVietnam with @jonnyrocksville @lenocks...
  • Best experience of the day- a traditional herbal bath with herbs picked from the mountain and steeped in boiling water! It is used to soak the muscles after a hard day in the rice paddies! Nothing like taking a bath with a big group of strangers watching! :) #DonalVietnam
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Summer Berry Sweet Pizza and a change of seasons…

At the moment life is sitting quite happily in limbo, as we fall between the seasons of late Summer and early Autumn.  There is still warmth in the air, yet I’m beginning to be drawn back to the more heavy and slow cooked dishes.  While it can easily be argued that Ireland got a fairly awful Summer this year, I haven’t been left short on Summer produce.  My tomatoes, while slightly late are starting to turn a rich red and my proud pumpkin patch which has long been developing a personality of its own, now sits watching our living room overlooking slightly ominously, ready to engulf the house with ever expanding tendrils, the moment we turn our backs.  While everything is in full bloom and plants are still growing, said pumpkin patch is a great reminder that, it won’t be more that a month or two, before I will be cutting the stalks of what I hope will be heavy orange fruits, reminding me further of the fact that the days are getting shorter and colder.

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Swedish Gooey Chocolate Cake

The Method


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Christmas Mince Pie Star Slices

These mince pie slices are a wonderful alternative to the traditional mince pie. Use your own mince meat recipe here if you have one, if not most supermarkets stock handy jars of the stuff!

Serves 4-6
For the pastry:
170g flour
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
100g cold butter, cut into small chunks
1 tablespoon of caster sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons of water

For the filling:
420g jar of mince meat
1 large cooking apple, peeled and cored
A sprinkle of brown sugar

Place the flour and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.

Add the butter and rub in using your finger tips until you have a rough breadcrumb like mixture. Don’t worry it will come together!

Add the sugar and the egg yolk and mix through with a spoon.

Add the water slowly until a dough comes together.

Form a ball with your hands, cover in cling film and place in the fridge to chill for at least 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200oC/Gas Mark 6.

Chop the apple into small rough slices and combine in a bowl with the mince meat.

Roll the pastry dough out to about half a centimetre in thickness and line a fluted tart tin with it. Make sure to cut out little stars from the pastry to decorate with later!

Prick the base with a fork and fill with baking paper and ceramic baking beans. Place in the oven and blind bake for 10 minutes, remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes.

Fill the pastry base with the apple and mincemeat mixture and top with the pastry stars and a sprinkle of brown sugar.

Bake in the oven for approximately 15 minutes or until the pastry turns golden brown.

Serve cut into slices with a drizzle of cream!

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