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Master pastry chef Shane Smith shares some kitchen comfort food for all at home

This week, we enjoy some easy recipes that can be put together from your cupboard ingredients.

Shane Smith

WE ARE WEEKS into this strange new Covid-19 shutdown and I, for one, am doing my best to keep busy and stay focused. All we can do is take it one day at a time. It’s not easy, that’s for sure!

I’m grateful for the work I have and also glad I have a chance to share some recipes here to help readers find a way to escape the constant flow of bad news. Cooking and baking can be of great benefit to our wellbeing, offering us a chance to be a little creative in our own kitchens.

My ‘cupboard creation’ cooking videos are still doing really well on Instagram and I can’t get over how many people are interested in cooking at the moment. I’m trying to make high-end baking more accessible and show everyone that you can make some gorgeous food from whatever you have at in your cupboards.

With that in mind, here are some recipes for you. Hope you enjoy.

SHANE’S RECIPES

Smoked bacon & mustard mac and cheese

Sometimes, you just need some comfort food, and this fits the bill. It’s a quick, hearty meal and tends to be a winner with younger members of the family.

shane mac Source: Shane Smith

Ingredients

Mac & cheese

250g macaroni or any small pasta
1 small diced onion
150g chopped smoked bacon
50g Odlums plain flour
50g Kerrygold butter
500ml milk
1 tablespoon Wholegrain or Dijon mustard
200g grated red cheddar or any cheese of your choice
5 scallions, chopped
Salt & pepper

Topping

100g breadcrumbs
50g melted butter

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 200C/180C Fan
  • In a medium pot, boil the pasta for two minutes less than the cooking instructions, drain and set aside.
  • In a frying pan, slowly cook the onions and bacon until the onions are soft and bacon is cooked, put to one side until needed.
  • Melt the butter in a pot and add the flour, stir to combine. Slowly add the milk whisking to remove lumps. Continue to do this until all the milk is added.
  • To this, add the mustard and the grated cheese and stir until the cheese is melted.
  • Fold in the pasta, bacon, onions and the scallions. Check for seasoning.
  • Place all of this into an oven-proof baking dish.
  • For the topping, melt the butter and mix with the breadcrumbs. Spoon this over the top and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  • This should cost just €6.45 for four portions.

 

Upside down caramel banana cake

This delicious treat is suitable for all the family and can be great fun to make with your loved ones at home. Everyone is keen on banana bread at the moment, but here’s a nice twist on that old favourite.

It’s pretty simple to make but is absolutely delicious. Plus, you’re getting some nutritional value in the bananas, so it’s a win-win for all the family.

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Source: Chef Shane Smith/YouTube

 
Ingredients

Caramel cake

150g golden syrup
5 ripe bananas
180g brown sugar
100g butter
4 eggs
Dash of vanilla
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp bread soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
200g creme fraiche
Caramel Sauce

100g butter
100ml cream
100g brown sugar

Method

  • Pre-heat your oven to 160C or 140C for a fan oven. This is a slow bake dish.
  • Line a 20cm baking tray with some parchment paper.
  • Take the golden syrup and pour it over the bottom of the tray.
  • Slice 4 bananas, slice them in half lengthways and layer them over the golden syrup.
  • Add the butter, sugar, vanilla, four eggs and sugar to your mixing bowl, as well as one chopped-up banana. Mix it for 2-3 mins until it binds together.
  • Add the flour, cinnamon and bread soda and mix again until they’re blended in.
  • Add the creme fraiche and give it one final mix.
  • Pour the batter over the bananas and place into your pre-heated oven. It should take 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • While the banana cake is baking we need to make the caramel sauce, which takes two minutes.
  • Add the butter, sugar and cream to a saucepan and stir until it melts and reduces down to a sticky caramel. Leave aside.
  • When your cake is out, leave it to sit for 2 minutes.
  • Make some incisions with a knife so it can soak in the caramel sauce.
  • Pour about half the caramel sauce over the cake and allow it to soak in.
  • Turn the cake upside down and pour it over the top of the cake, on the banana side. This is your glaze.
  • Cool, and enjoy.

Shane Smith has nearly 22 years’ experience working in some of the world’s most celebrated pastry kitchens across the globe. Over these years he has received numerous award from “Best Bakery Manager in Ireland”-Shelf life magazine to “The top 10 best pastry chefs in Ireland” Food & Wine Magazine. Along with baking he writes for many national publications and can be found cooking up a storm at some of Ireland’s most prestigious food festivals. Shane also has a regular cookery slot on RTÉ on The Today Show where he can be seen bringing his natural flair and love for all things sweet to the nation’s homes. Find him on Instagram at @chefshanesmith or at www.chefshanesmith.ie.

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Shane Smith

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