Donal Skehan
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  • 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
  • This little girl is eating sticky rice cooked in a bamboo shoot! The rice is stuffed into the hollow shoot and sealed with a banana leaf, then boiled until tender... Then the whole rice filled bamboo shoot is grilled over an open fire- it results in a chewy sweet rice cylinder with the most incredible texture! Really special! #DonalVietnam
  • The colourful and detailed clothing the women of the Red Dao tribe wear can take up to a year to embroider by hand... #DonalVietnam
  • Incredible day spent learning from and cooking with the Red Dao tribe in North West Vietnam- their are 5 different tribes in this area and each has their own language and distinctive traditional clothing... #DonalVietnam
  • View from my breakfast table! Stayed in Sa Pa last night high in the mountains, 1500 meters above sea level... Off to spend the day with a local Red Dao family to learn more about their traditions... #DonalVietnam
  • Have just eaten from this fairly intimating platter of mystery meat! You choose what you want from pig tongue, liver, heart and blood sausage and it gets boiled up and served with a fiery hot dipping sauce with chilli, meat broth, fish sauce and spring onions. Also interesting they eat it with potato noodles rather than rice noodles, in broth and mint... Swallow the fear, get in there and eat like the locals do! #DonalVietnam
  • Chicken for sale at Bac Ha market- incredible experience, like nothing else, have whiplash from everything I have to look at! #DonalVietnam
  • Flower Hmong tribe at Bac Ha market this morning selling fresh vegetables and sugar cane... #DonalVietnam
  • Great meal this evening! Finally in Sapa after the longest bus ride ever today 8am-11.30pm! Up early tomorrow morning to film at Bac Ha Market... #DonalVietnam
  • BBQ pork and pumpkin greens at the most rocking little restaurant in Sapa! #DonalVietnam
  • Wok fried lunch today! Lots of greens including Morning Glory or water spinach stir fried with pork fat and fish sauce... #DonalVietnam
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Snickers Ice-Cream Cake

Sharon Snickers Cake_2

If you love chocolate, peanuts, caramel and ice cream, this is definitely the cake for you! It is very simple to make, as once you have your sauces and no-churn ice-cream prepared, it’s just a matter of assembly. Allow enough time for it to freeze properly before serving. If you can’t find peanut butter ice cream in the shops, then it really is worth making your own and isn’t as tricky as you may think. (Recipe from Sharon Hearne Smith’s, No Bake Baking available on amazon.)

Serves 12–14
250ml Salted Caramel Sauce
250ml Chocolate Sauce
1.5 litres Peanut Butter Ice-Cream
Sunflower oil, for the tin
12 x 58g Snickers bars
15 toffee waffle biscuits

Remove the ice cream from the freezer and leave to soften until spreadable but not completely thawed. Oil the cake tin and line the sides with parchment paper. Cut the Snickers bars into 5mm-thick slices and roughly chop the waffle biscuits into small bite-sized pieces.

Scatter a third of the waffle pieces in a single layer in the bottom of the tin. Spoon a third of the ice cream on top and spread evenly. Scatter on a third of the Snickers pieces in a single layer. Drizzle with a third of each of the caramel and chocolate sauces. Repeat these layers again, using the same quantities of everything. Then scatter with the remaining waffle pieces and finish with the remaining ice cream, smoothing the top. You should have a third each of Snickers pieces and caramel and chocolate sauces left for serving. Cover with cling film and freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight until frozen solid.

When ready to serve, remove the cake from the tin and sit it on a cake stand or serving plate. Peel off the parchment paper and leave for 15–20 minutes to soften a little. Then, to decorate, arrange the remaining Snickers pieces on top and spoon over the caramel and chocolate sauces so they just dribble down the edges. To serve, cut into 12–14 wedges, which is best done with a long sharp knife, dipped in boiling water and wiped dry between each cut.

Leftover ice-cream cake should be frozen straight away. Wrap individual portions in parchment paper and seal in a food bag. These will keep happily in the freezer for up to a few months.

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New Years Eve Partaaay!

Wow 2010 really went by in a flash!  I cannot believe it is already New Year’s eve tomorrow…  To be honest I was never really a big fan of New Years eve, it was always a bit of a let down after the excitement of Christmas.  It was kind of like the Sunday during a school week where you knew the party was coming to an end and you had to go back to school the next day.  The last few years we have tried to do something different, by heading off somewhere but this year we are staying put and having people over.  There isn’t too much pressure really because all that is expected is a bit drink to be provided and something nibble on while everyone stands around and get’s merry!

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