Harry’s Cheesy Bites
Makes about 24
I got this recipe off my nan and she told me she got it off her nan, but I asked my granddad and he says she got it from some bloke what was on the telly in 1973.
½ cup water
½ cup milk
A big pinch of salt
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup flour
Four large eggs
3 ½ ounces cheese, grated
A bit of pepper
A bit of nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 400°F/200oC. Don’t forget about this because you’ll feel a right prat.
Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
Put the water, the milk, the salt, and the butter in a saucepan. Stir while bringing it to a boil. Add the flour and stir it for a couple of minutes until you got a smooth dough that pulls away from the side of the pan.
Put the dough in a bowl and let it cool down for a bit.
Beat the eggs into the dough one at a time. This takes a bit of welly and it don’t half make your arms hurt if you’re not used to it.
Mix most of the cheese. When we done it on the show they said to use Gruyère ’cause of how it’s French but it works fine if you only got cheddar.
Add the pepper and the nutmeg. You’ll have to guess how much is right until you’re used to it and you know what you like.
Put all the dough in a piping bag. This gets well messy and if you’ve got a kid helping you they’ll get covered but it’s just dough, innit?
Pipe out little blobs of dough onto the baking tray. They should be a couple of inches apart and about as big as a tablespoon. If you’re doing it on TV make ’em all the same size but if it’s for your family or your mates, don’t bother. Also, my granddad said the bloke what did it on TV used spoons.
Sprinkle your leftover cheese over the top. If you ain’t got any leftover cheese grate some more.
Stick them in the oven for twenty minutes or until they puff up and go all golden brown.
Give ’em to whoever you’re making ’em for. Or stick ’em in the fridge for later.
Rosaline’s Other Cream Liqueurs Are Available Shortbreads
These are my latest version of the biscuits I made on the show. They don’t have much of a kick to them, but they’re rich and buttery and go down well at viewing parties.
Makes about 15
Mummy said I could help write this recipe because I might want to be a baker when I grow up. My bits are in italics because italics are what you use to write things that are important.
For the shortbread:
1 cup butter
½ cup light brown sugar
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
For the filling:
½ cup butter
1½ cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur—This is the bit that makes it not-for-Amelie biscuits, which is discrimination
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350oF/180oC (320°F/160oC for a fan oven) and prepare one or two baking trays lined with wax paper.
I can do this bit because I can reach the knobs but once I put it on 220 to see if mummy would notice and she didn’t and then the biscuits were burned.
Cream the butter and brown sugar together. You can do this in a bowl, a food processor or a stand mixer depending on what you have in your kitchen.
Sometimes mummy does this by hand and I help but it’s really hard because the butter is really thick and then we put it in the mixer and it does it for us.
Add the flour, baking powder, and pinch of salt to the mixture and mix until smooth. Then get your hands in and squeeze it into a ball.
This is the best bit because you get dough all over your hands but if you lick your fingers you have to wash your hands again because it’s unhygienic, which means it can make you ill.
Roll the dough out to ¼ of an inch (or 1 centimetre) thick on a floured surface and cut out your biscuits using a small round cutter. Although, actually, I use a champagne flute which probably says bad things about my lifestyle.
I can’t help with this bit unless I stand on a stool.
Transfer the biscuits to the baking tray and bake until golden brown. This should take about 15 minutes, but it’s worth checking after twelve. It’s also worth checking your daughter hasn’t changed the settings on the oven.
I only did that once.
Once the biscuits are ready, remove from the oven and leave to cool.
If you’re very good you can eat one of the biscuits now before the not-for-Amelie filling goes in.
While you’re waiting for the biscuits to cool, beat the butter and icing sugar together until smooth. Then add the cream liqueur and the vanilla extract and beat the whole thing together.
I tried a bit of this when mummy wasn’t looking and it was okay but a bit funny tasting.
Spread a generous helping of the cream liqueur buttercream on half the shortbreads, and sandwich them with the other half. The filling can sometimes be a bit squishy, so you might want to pop them in the fridge to firm up. Alternatively, you might want to pop them on a high shelf so your daughter can’t steal them.
And that’s how you make the discrimination biscuits! I helped even though I’m not allowed to eat the biscuits because I have a generous hearty nature and a sympathy with all poor men, like the spirit of Christmas present.
Goodbye! Enjoy the biscuits!
Alain’s Celebrated Chocolate Cake with Basil Buttercream
I’ve refined this recipe considerably since the version I debuted on the first episode, and so you may find that your results don’t wholly match those you might remember from the series. I do, however, think that this version is strictly superior.
For the cake:
1 ¾ cups caster sugar
1 ¾ cups plain flour
1 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons salt
Two large eggs
½ cup sunflower oil (you may substitute any other flavourless oil if you wish)
1 cup buttermilk (you can substitute whole milk)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¾ cup boiling water
For the buttercream:
½ cup unsalted butter
A handful of fresh basil leaves, torn (I use about ten, but you can vary this to taste)
½ cup marscapone
3 cups icing sugar
A pinch of salt
Fresh basil leaves to decorate
Preheat the oven to 350oF/180oC (or around 330°F or 165oC if using a fan oven). Then grease and line two eight-inch cake pans.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a second, smaller bowl, combine the eggs, sunflower oil, buttermilk, and vanilla extract (the oil will naturally separate itself, so you will need to mix these well and vigorously). Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and add the boiling water. Everything should combine to give a smooth, slightly runny batter that pours easily.
Divide the batter equally between the two cake pans and bake for between twenty-five and thirty minutes. You will, I am sure, already know how to tell when a cake is done and if you don’t I direct you to some of my simpler recipes. When the cakes are cooked through, remove them from the oven and leave them to cool.
While the cakes are cooling, you may turn your attention to the icing.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the basil leaves. Cook for fifteen minutes over a low heat, stirring intermittently. Then strain out the leaves, and transfer the butter to a small bowl. Leave it to cool in the freezer for five to ten minutes, until slightly thickened.
Once the basil-infused butter has thickened, beat it into the mascarpone, then gradually add the icing sugar and a pinch of salt.
When the cakes have fully cooled, level them as you will have seen me do several times on the show, and assemble the cake, separating the halves with a generous layer of the buttercream. Ensure the icing on top of the cake is smooth (I recommend a palette knife or offset spatula for the purpose) and decorate sparingly with leaves of fresh basil.