How to make traditional Irish recipes with a modern twist, like mammy buns

A new name has just hit the Irish cookbook scene. He’s a larger-than-life character known to many as Cupcake Bloke from his Rialto bakery in Dublin. I first heard him speak recently at Food On The Edge and was blown away by his enthusiasm for baking.

He charmed audiences of top chefs and food writers around the world with stories of learning to bake at home from his Grandma Flynn, his mom, his aunts and his neighbors, who all love to cook and share.

Graham Herterich was brought up in his family’s butcher’s shop in Athy, Co Kildare. He thought about following the family tradition, but went on to study Culinary Arts at WIT in Waterford, spent several stints and stages in numerous high end restaurant kitchens and two years with a Carmelite community.

Graham decided religious life was not for him and after a period of travel and a stint in product development and food production he decided, encouraged by friends and mentors, to open his own business. in 2018. The Rialto Bakery quickly became a much-loved part of the community. Graham specializes in classic Irish recipes, such as soda bread, pies, porter cake and barmbrack, but gives them a modern twist. How about a panch phoran soda bread, a West Indian porter cake or a barmbrack with multiple toppings and flavored butters? In his new book, Bake each traditional Irish recipe is followed by a modern interpretation.

GIY’s Michael Kelly, on the other hand, is widely known and widely admired for the groundbreaking work he and his team of aces have done and continue to do.

Michael, the charismatic founder of GIY (Grow It Yourself), the social enterprise that encourages and teaches people to grow their own nutritious fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs.

Well known to millions through his primetime TV series and Amazon Prime, Michael and his team have demystified starting a vegetable garden and shown us all the magic of sowing a seed and watching it grow into something delicious thing to eat.

For the budding gardener in your life, look for Michael’s latest book The GIY Diaries – A year of culture and cuisine. Her passion for teaching leaps from every page, as do Sarah Kilcoyne’s illustrations.

He shares his in-depth knowledge and experience in day-to-day lessons and encourages us all to experience the joy of growing up and the satisfaction of becoming at least somewhat self-sufficient.

There are many brilliant practical suggestions for how we can do our part to combat climate change, biodiversity loss, food security issues and the rapidly rising cost of living.

Each month there are recipes for making the most of your seasonal harvest, how to use every scrap, store and keep a glut.

There are plenty of practical tips to empower you to join the self-cultivation food revolution.

  • ‘The GIY Diaries – A Year of Growing and Cooking’ by Michael Kelly published by Gill Books
  • ‘Bake – Traditional Irish Baking with Modern Twists’ by Graham Herterich published by Nine Bean Rows

Graham Herterich’s Mammy Buns

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always referred to buns as “mammy buns.” This is what our mum made and if you went to a friend’s house when you were a kid and there were buns, you can be assured they were made by their mum.

Preparation time

10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 165 g (5 1/2 oz) butter, very soft

  • 165 g (5 1/2 oz) powdered sugar

  • 165 g (5 1/2 oz) self-rising flour

  • 3 medium eggs

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

  • To decorate (choose one): jam and desiccated coconut jam and buttercream or whipped cream frosting buttercream and sprinkles frosting

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C convection heat.

  2. Line your cupcake or bun trays with paper cases (12 cupcake cases or 24 smaller bun cases).

  3. Put all the ingredients in a large bowl. Using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix everything together until you have a smooth, well-combined and fluffy batter. It will take a minute or two. Divide the batter between the paper cases.

  4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes for larger cupcakes or 14 to 16 minutes for buns, until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle of each cake comes out clean.

  5. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely, then decorate as desired in one of the following ways:

  6. Spread some jam on top of each bun and roll in grated coconut.

  7. Cut off the top of each bun. Decorate with a little jam and frosting or freshly whipped cream.

  8. Cut the top in half and put it back on the bun so that it looks like butterfly wings.

  9. Apply a little buttercream frosting and decorate with sprinkles.

Buttercream Frosting

This is a simple icing perfect for decorating these buns. Using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, start on low speed (otherwise you’ll have a big mess!) and beat 150g (5oz) butter very sweet with 300 g (10 oz) icing sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Continue beating for about 5 minutes, adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of milk if you want to make the icing a little softer.

Tahini and Black Sesame Cupcakes from Graham Herterich

A deliciously modern take on cupcakes

Tahini and Black Sesame Cupcakes from Graham Herterich

Preparation time

10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 165 g (5 1/2 oz) self-rising flour

  • 165 g (5 1/2 oz) powdered sugar

  • 115 g (barely 4 1/4 oz) butter, very soft

  • 50 g (2 oz) tahini

  • 3 medium eggs

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds, plus extra for garnish (see note)

  • Icing

  • 100 g (3 1/2 oz) softened butter

  • 50 g (2 oz) tahini

  • 300g (10oz) icing sugar

  • 2 tablespoons of milk (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C convection heat. Line your cupcake tray with paper liners.

  2. Put all the ingredients except the black sesame seeds in a large bowl. Using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix everything together until you have a smooth, well-combined and fluffy batter. It will take a minute or two.

  3. Gently stir in the black sesame seeds.

  4. Divide the batter between the paper cases.

  5. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and a knife inserted in the middle of each cake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

  6. To make the frosting, using an electric mixer or stand mixer, mix the softened butter with the tahini and icing sugar, starting slow or you’ll have a big mess! Continue whisking for about 5 minutes, adding a little milk if you want to make the icing a little softer.

  7. Using a piping bag, palette knife or spoon, divide the frosting between the cupcakes.

  8. To decorate, sprinkle with more black sesame seeds.

  9. To note: You can get black sesame seeds at Asian grocery stores.

Michael Kelly’s Sausage and Beer Stew

So many of my recipes this time of year focus on available root crops that I have in the ground or in storage, such as carrots, parsnips, celeriac, and beets. You can use celery instead of celeriac, rutabaga instead of squash, etc.

Michael Kelly's Sausage and Beer Stew

Preparation time

10 minutes

Ingredients

  • olive oil

  • 6-8 good quality dinner sausages

  • 2 onions, diced

  • 1 leek, trimmed and finely chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, diced

  • 2 large carrots, diced

  • 1/2 celeriac, diced

  • 1 bottle of beer, 330 ml (11 fl oz)

  • 500 ml (18 fl oz) beef or chicken broth

  • 400 g (14 oz) can tomatoes or 2 tbsp tomato puree

  • 2 tablespoons chopped herbs (parsley, rosemary and thyme)

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 tbsp mustard (I use Dijon)

  • 1/4 squash or pumpkin, peeled and cut into large chunks

  • salt and pepper

  • crusty bread or baked potatoes, for serving

Method

  1. Heat a little olive oil in a pan. Cut the sausages into pieces and fry them for about a minute on each side, until golden brown.

  2. In the same skillet, sauté the onions, leek, garlic, carrots and celeriac over low heat for about 10 minutes, until tender. Transfer to a heavy saucepan or casserole.

  3. Pour the bottle of beer into the pan to deglaze the pan, scraping up any nice brown bits from the pan with a wooden spatula. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes to reduce a little. Add it to the vegetables with the broth, tomatoes, herbs, bay leaf and mustard.

  4. Bring to the boil then add the squash or pumpkin. Bake for 15 minutes with the lid on.

  5. Add the sausages to the pan and cook for another 15 minutes.

  6. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Check consistency – simmer another 10 minutes if needed to thicken or add a little boiling water if too thick.

  7. Serve with crusty bread or baked potatoes.

Practical advice


Marco Cocoa Chocolates

Have you ever discovered Marco Cocoa chocolates – well, you have a treat in store. After losing his job due to the Covid pandemic, Mark Lanigan, a personal chef for a multinational, racked his brains to find another source of income. He used to enjoy making chocolates for treats, so he set up a workshop and shop at the Dunhill Food Hub in County Waterford. Mark was practically overwhelmed by the response. If you love gorgeous chocolates, check out Marco Cocoa on Facebook and order
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Comforting Christmas Meals at Ballymaloe Cooking School, December 13-15, 2022…
It’s never
too early to plan…

Come join us for two and a half days of delicious Christmas cooking. Learn how to make a range of Christmas dishes that will become new family traditions. Discover recipes you can cook ahead of time so you too can spend time with family, entertain friends, and bring exciting new flavors to the party table.

For more informationsee www.cookingisfun.ie


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Rozella J. Cook