Last night’s episode was a very close shave but…I’M THROUGH TO THE FINAL OF THE GREAT IRISH BAKE OFF!! So happy I got through as I was convinced I was away home. But I’ll speak more at the end of this post for now let’s talk technical bake.
Anyone who watched the semi-final of The Great Irish Bake Off last night will appreciate how unusual the technical challenge was. Not only did Biddy White Lennon set this one herself but she also foraged pretty much all of the ingredients for it. Admittedly there were several ingredients which I had never heard of before so working with them was a whole new experience. The Mousse just threw me off completely and I did not understand that the seaweed was to act as the setting agent like gelatine would until it was too late. I’m don’t want to blame my performance on anything, I did what I did and have learnt from it so I’ve profited. But I won’t be making the carrageen mousse anytime soon! Although even from the judge’s comments, this wasn’t down to editing, I was surprised to come 4th place in it. But then again there was so little in it between the other fabulous bakers.
So unfortunately due to the sheer weirdness, lack of availability of ingredients and how much this would cost me to make (come one guys crab meat is expensive and I’m only a student!), I will not be blogging the same technical challenge we did on the show. Sorry.
But don’t worry I have got a great seafood tart and a mousse for you guys to try at home. Here we have a Salmon and mustard tart and a Passion fruit and raspberry mousse. The tart recipe was inspired by Eric Lanlard’s Salmon, wholegrain mustard and dill tartlets. I have changed a good few things with the pastry and filling to make it similar to what we made on the show. And as for the mousse, well we’ve all had the standard vanilla mousse before so I thought I would use one of my favourite flavours-passion fruit.
You will need:
250g plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1tsp dried thyme
½ tsp fennel seeds, ground
1 tsp dried parsley
150g unsalted butter, cubed and cold
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp milk
4 spring onions, finely chopped
1 red pepper, diced
175g salmon, diced
4 eggs, beaten
300ml crème fraîche
4 tsp wholegrain mustard
1tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
3 sheets leaf gelatine
200 ml passion fruit coulis or juice
120 g caster sugar
4 tbsp water
2 egg whites
1 tsp lemon juice
400 ml double cream, lightly whipped
150g fresh or frozen raspberries
3 passion fruit
mint leaves, to garnish
How to do it:
- For the tart; Place the flour, salt, paprika, thyme, fennel and parsley into a bowl then rub in the butter with your fingertips until a breadcrumb consistency.
Add the eggs and milk and mix until you have a wet sticky dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead a few times only then wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface roll out the chilled dough until slightly larger than the tart tin.
Wrap around the rolling pin then drape over the tin.
Push the pastry into and up the sides of the tin. Chill for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Crumple up some baking paper and then place into the pastry case Fill with the baking beans or rice/beans etc then bake for 15 minutes.
Remove the paper and baking beans then bake for a further 10 minutes until golden and dry to the touch.
- For the filling place the diced Salmon over the cooked pastry case (which has been cooled slightly).
Mix all other ingredients in a large bowl until smooth and well combined then pour over the salmon.
Lift some of the salmon up if you can to expose it.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes at 180°C/160°C fan until the set and golden. A few cracks may appear but they will go once the tart chills.
- Put the gelatine leaves into a bowl of cold water. Leave to soak for about 5 minutes until softened. Meanwhile heat the passion fruit juice/coulis in a saucepan until hot but do not let it boil. Squeeze out the gelatine leaves and add to the pan. Stir briskly until thoroughly dissolved then leave to cool.
- Place the egg whites into the bowl of a large freestanding mixer. Put the sugar and the 4 tablespoons of water into a small saucepan and stir over low heat until dissolved. Bring to the boil and boil until it reaches 115°C. At this point start to whisk the egg whites until soft peaks then add the lemon juice.
- When the syrup reaches 118°C slowly pour it into the egg whites, whisking all the time until the meringue is glossy and stiff.
- Semi-whip the cream in a separate bowl. Using a metal spoon, fold in the cooled passion fruit mixture into the meringue followed by the whipped cream. When evenly mixed stir in the raspberries.
- Pour into individual ramekins or a large glass bowl.
Tap the bottom of the container a few times to remove any air bubbles and then smoothen the top with the back of a spoon.
Using a damp cloth run your finger around the edges of the container(s) to give a clean edge. Leave in the fridge for about 2 hours until set. You can decorate with some fresh passion fruit pulp and mint leaves.
This makes a really good dinner for 6 or 4 hungry people served with some steamed vegetables. I tried to include as many flavours in it as we had on the show and I think I have done a decent job working from memory! That crab tart on the day tasted wonderful and I would love to be able to sample some of it again, this time without the stress of the semi finals still present!
I know this mousse is completely different from what was on the show but it’s in a complete different league in terms of the flavour. The passion fruit’s tang is actually rather subtle in this even with all the sugar from the Italian meringue. The addition of raspberries is a welcome surprise in each spoonful. You could of course use other fruits through, mango would be amazing but similar in colour. Maybe blueberries, white chocolate, nuts or strawberries could be used? You decide.
Congratulations to Maryanne who got star baker for the second time last night. Her Frasier was truly impressive and would belong in the window of any patisserie. I must also mention the Queen of flavours-Oonagh. Throughout the competition she was fantastic not only in her baking but as a person too. So polite, calming and pleasant to talk to, Oonagh was a great addition to our group of bakers. I would say she was missed but it was only a matter of 24 hours without her so we managed to cope!
But now we have to start thinking big as it’s the FINAL next week! Next week on The Great Irish Bake Off things get serious as I go head to head with 2 of Ireland’s best amateur home bakers:
Willem-the big man from Limerick with vast knowledge of all areas of baking and food. I had this guy on my radar from the moment the judges tried his cupcakes. Each week has seen him go from strength to strength and finally gained a star baker in dessert week.
Maryanne-baking is a science and she is a science university lecturer. Out of the three of us she has the most experience and has proved this time after time throughout the competition. First to gain star baker and also last to receive star baker.
And then there’s me…Both challenges next week really push us to our absolute limits. I have to say this was the week I loved filming most. Not just because it was the final and I was on a high, although this certainly helped, but because I enjoyed the two challenges we had. The technical I got to do something I had always wanted to and in the showstopper I finally got to flex my baking muscles in an area which I love.
Seriously guys do not miss next week!
Thanks for reading,
- A Recipe for Cajun Cocktail Crab Claws (weightloss.answers.com)
- Chocolate Mousse & Dark Chocolate Mint Mousse Pie (dishingitoutwithclarissa.com)
- James Martin’s Meringue, Lemon Curd and Passion Fruit Torte (boxofrecipes.wordpress.com)
- Salmon and spinach quiche (tinycooknkitchen.wordpress.com)
- The perfect pastry challenge (countrylivinged.com)
- Smoked Salmon Tart (bakingfanatic.wordpress.com)
- Smoked Salmon Quiche (bakingfanatic.wordpress.com)
- Salmon, Fior di Latte and Walnut Tart (goodfoodeveryday.wordpress.com)