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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Homecooked Bakery: Orange Polenta Cake

Orange-Polenta-Cake_2 Time for another installment of Homecooked Bakery and this week's recipe is a beauty! If you have not tried baking with polenta yet, give this cake a go. It's so moist and fragrant because it's doused with a honey and rosewater syrup and the polenta gives the cake a really great texture. Then the whole cake is decorated with vibrant green pistachios and orange zest. It's incredibly easy to make and it's the one I have pulled out again and again!

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Orange Polenta Cake With Honey & Rosewater Syrup

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This fragrant and moist cake is not only visually beautiful, it also has the most delicious spiced sweet orange and honey flavour. The cake can be made gluten-free as long as you use a gluten-free baking powder. 

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Prinsesstårta- Swedish Princess Cake

Varients on the layers of this traditional Swedish cake are quite common and can also be referred to as Prinstårta and Opera Cake. This is my version and makes a wonderful celebration cake.

Serves 12
For the sponge layers:

4 large free range eggs
170g caster sugar
120g plain flour
butter for greasing the tin

For the Crème Patissière:
1 vanilla pod
450ml milk
120g caster sugar
6 large free range egg yolks
50g cornflour
50g unsalted butter, softened

For the filling and assembly:
125g fresh raspberries
750ml double cream, whipped to soft peaks
500g marzipan (use red or pink food colouring
if you can’t find pink marzipan)

Preheat the oven to 190°C and grease and line a 20cm springform cake tin with parchment paper.

Beat together the eggs and the sugar until pale and fluffy. Sift the flour in to the bowl and fold gently into the egg mixture, until you are left with no lumps in the bowl. Pour the mixture into the cake tin.

Bake on the middle wrack of the oven for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool slightly in the tin and then turn it out on to a cooling rack. When completely cool, using a bread knife, divide the cake into three even layers.

For the crème patissière, split the vanilla pod in half and scrape out the seeds. Add this to a medium saucepan with the milk and place over a medium high heat. Bring to the boil and then turn off the heat. Scoop out the vanilla pod.

While the milk is coming to the boil, place the sugar, cornflour and egg yolks in a large mixing bowl and beat with a whisk until thick and pale. Pour the hot milk into the bowl, whisking quickly and continuously until it is smooth and incorporated. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and place over a medium heat beating continuously until it has thickened.

Transfer the crème pâtissière to a cold bowl, create a flat surface with the back of a spatula and wipe the top with a little butter (this will prevent a skin forming). Cover directly with cling film and allow to cool completely.

Place one of the cake layers on a cake stand. Use one-third of the crème pâtissière to pipe three circles around the base of the bottom layer, starting from the outside, in. Place the raspberries inside the creme patisserie circles. Mix a spoonful of the cream with a little of the creme patisserie and pipe over the raspberries. Put on the next layer of cake and spread with half the remaining crème pâtissière over the top. Put the last layer of cake in place and spread the remaining crème pâtissière on top.  Spread the cream over the top and sides of the cake, creating a smooth dome shape.

In a bowl, add a drop of food colouring to the marzipan and knead it until you have an even pink colour. Dust a clean surface with icing sugar and roll out the marzipan until it’s about 1mm in thickness. Cover the cake with the marzipan, trimming the excess around the edges. (You can use the excess marzipan to make the little rose on top.)

Dust the cake with icing sugar and place a little marzipan rose on top.

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Sticky Maple, Apple & Ginger Cake

The Method


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Beef and Guinness Pie

The Method


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I Like Big Buns and I Cannot Lie!

No otha’ bruthas’ can deny… and so on… What is about sweet things like big dirty chocolate cakes, drippy sticky toffee pudding, and oozing eclairs that always seem to grab people’s attention?  I could write fresh and healthy recipes everyday for the rest of my life, and they would still never get the same reaction as the oooohing and aaaahing that a great big, filthy slice of gooey, dark chocolate brownie manages to draw. Some of the first recipes I ever cooke, were baking ones, and to this day it’s one of my favourite forms of cooking in the kitchen.  I have cooked Swedish cinnamon buns to their death at this stage, but they have to be one of the best baking discoveries I’ve come across in the last 5 years.

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Have Your Cake And Eat It!

Earlier this year, many food writers made their predictions for 2011′s hottest food trends, and one of the big things mentioned again and again was the rise in popularity of home baking.  Rather than trying to find something to topple the mighty cupcake, baking in general is being made cool again.

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Lemon Drizzle Days…


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Rainy Day Mediterranean Homemade Pizza

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Getting homemade pizza right is a real art, I used to make it a lot when I was a kid and slowly perfected it over the years! One of my favourite things to do was to try different topping combinations from Asparagus and Spinach, to Feta and Rocket. One of the great things about pizza is that it's just so customisable. I also recommend experimenting with the tomato sauce as it can really enhance the overall flavour.

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