Baking show. Lorraine Pascale reveals her stress-free ideas for entertaining, including whisky and chilli tiger prawns, and mascarpone and ginger creme brulee.
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I'm Lorraine Pascale, I'm a chef, and baking is my passion.
When I quit modelling, I tried all sorts of things,
like being a car mechanic, an interior designer.
Then I found cooking, and that was it.
Since then, I've worked in restaurants, I run my own business,
and I'm going to share some chef secrets with you.
For me, baking is anything that cooks in the oven.
Sweet and savoury, classic dishes, delicious new ideas,
and baking you really thought you'd never be able to do, but you can.
Baking is not always fast, but it's always easy.
If I'm entertaining, it's got to be easy, and for me,
that means it's got to be baked.
OK. So I've got five delicious ideas for you.
First, for a fast supper party...
Ready in less than 30 minutes.
So good and so delicious!
And for dessert, you absolutely cannot go wrong with...
I challenge you to resist the creamy layers of custard
and the crispy caramel topping. I can't.
For casual drinks...
Perfect with dips and a glass of wine.
Tea time's covered, with my granny's shortbread.
It's one of my basic recipes for a good reason.
Finally, something people go crazy for...
I say when it comes to entertaining, let the oven do the work.
-You all right?
Good, good, thanks. I think I'll have 20 prawns today, please.
The fish looks great.
I bake so much of this fish.
A lovely piece of trout with some sauterne and almonds.
A bit of cod with parsley sauce,
or some lovely sea bass with chilli and coriander.
-Thanks, see you soon.
-See you, bye.
Right, I'm going to get on with making these prawns.
Just get my ingredients.
Soft brown sugar.
And chilli. Perfect.
OK. So this glaze, it's super, super scrummy.
I need 180g of soft, light brown sugar.
It has a wonderful caramely taste to it, so it's much nicer
than caster sugar for this.
And now the whisky.
So, 90mls of that.
And now I need the zest of a lime.
I love limes. I think they're such a nicer flavour to lemons.
I know that they are a completely different fruit,
but often when a recipe calls for lemons, I'll just use limes.
And just do it really slowly like that.
You see people furiously rubbing,
but if you do that, you get this pith, which is bitter.
I can really smell the limes releasing their flavour.
It just smells so good. Those oils.
So that's one lime zested.
And don't forget to scrape the back.
These stubborn bits.
I'll move that out of the way because I don't need that
until later. Then the juice of two limes.
Limes can be quite firm, so if you're having trouble getting
the juice out, you can squeeze them a bit first, or roll them around.
It releases the juice more easily.
Just cut those in half.
And into the pan.
And this is such an unusual flavour combination, the whisky
and the lime, to eat, but it just works so well.
Right, get that on a low heat. You want to dissolve the sugar first.
Once the sugar's dissolved, whack up the heat and boil it for
about five to seven minutes, until it goes nice and thick and syrupy.
Perfect. Right, now my chilli.
I have a really big red one here. I'm going to cut that in half,
I need to take the seeds out.
And then slice. Just finely slice.
I just want little cubes.
I think it's the chef in me, I just like to have all the ingredients out, and then I can start cooking.
I'm not good at grabbing things from cupboards midway.
Now these prawns, I can't wait to get my hands on these prawns.
I've got about 20 in here.
So, my fishmonger has kindly deveined these for me.
So it saves a lot of time. And he's kept the tails on,
because this food's quite tactile food, dipping it in the sauce, so I like to have the tail on as well.
And then a drizzle of oil.
You can use vegetable oil,
but I'm being naughty and using extra virgin.
I know that people say you shouldn't cook with it, but I'm going to.
So, I'm going to put the chillies in.
You see, that is so much prettier with red. Such beautiful colours.
And my glaze is lovely and ready.
You can tell, because if you just
take it on a spoon, see how it coats the spoon nicely?
It's not as thick as honey, but it's definitely thicker than it was.
Now this is ready. We'll just pop the lime zest in.
So the reason I put the lime zest in now is, if you put
it in whilst it is boiling away, the lime zest gets a bit bitter.
I think the inspiration for the dish comes from my English background
and working in Australia.
In Australia, they use lots of limes and beautiful seafood.
The smells are amazing.
All the citrussy lime, that whisky
and caramelised brown sugar. Absolutely beautiful.
Now, the prawns.
I'm just going to pour a bit of this glaze on.
I'm going to save half the glaze for later.
Some of it will evaporate off in the oven, so I can use that
to dip the prawns in later.
They'll go into the oven for about
five to eight minutes at 200 degrees.
Ooh, look at those.
I'm just hit by this wonderful chilli.
Gorgeous. They've gone that lovely deep pink.
So I've got a simple salad, baguette, extra glaze, just perfect.
It's really good for when friends come over.
So, in baking, there are
basic ingredients, and there are flavour enhancers, like this lime.
I used it in the whisky prawns, and I use it in sweet baking too.
It was quite hard to make a list of all my favourite flavour enhancers,
but I managed to whittle it down to my favourite three.
OK, so, first, Marsala.
This is a dessert wine from Sicily.
I like to add it to softly whipped cream or mascarpone fillings.
It gives a real depth of flavour.
It's also fantastic to poach fruits in.
Like the apples, pears and blackberries I use in a pavlova.
Then mint, which I love.
It's not really a traditional herb in baking, but I sprinkle it over
sweet and savoury tarts.
And it's delicious infused in
the sugar syrup that I always brush over cakes to make them extra moist.
You get a kind of subtle minty hit.
And vanilla, the pastry chef's secret weapon.
I often take a shortcut and use vanilla extract,
but I never use vanilla essence.
Mostly I use vanilla pods, and the trick is to buy them in bulk
and just keep them in an airtight container in the cupboard.
So, that's my shortlist!
Right, the British have desserts like the spotted dick,
apple crumble and trifle.
And the French have desserts like
iles flottantes, mousse au chocolat, and crepe Suzette.
Now, their pedigree is undisputed.
But there's one tricky customer
that causes a little bit of a fracas between the French and the British.
And that is the creme brulee.
Now the British say they invented it.
Someone was making a custard in the kitchens, and they forgot
to put sugar in the custard, so they put it on the top instead.
But the French said, "No, it's ours!
"Creme brulee is ours because we wrote about it
"in some book in the 17th century."
Now we like to call creme brulee Trinity burnt cream. Who invented it? Who knows?
But one thing is that it's brilliant for making for entertaining.
It's quick, it's easy and it's delicious.
So, I've got six egg yolks here.
I'm going to add 60 grams of soft, light brown sugar.
I just love using light brown sugar, rather than caster sugar, because
it has a much nicer caramel flavour.
Now, I get my whisk. It needs to be nice and stiff.
It won't go really fluffy as if it was white sugar,
but it will thicken.
So I'm not looking for volume, it's not going to whisk up like meringues.
It will just go a little more bubbly.
So, I've got my cream here, which I've infused overnight
with ginger and vanilla.
This is how I made it. I put 450 ml of whipping cream into a pan,
with 100 grams of mascarpone, and the seeds of one vanilla pod.
Then heated it until it was almost boiling,
then removed the pan from the heat.
Then I added a 10cm long thumb-width
piece of ginger which had been peeled and very finely grated.
Now I'm going to start adding the cream.
Keep whisking it gently like this. It needs to be all incorporated.
If you find that your bowl starts moving around,
I just like to get a tea towel,
fold it up.
And then pop the bowl on top. There you go.
It doesn't move any more.
Just keep whisking.
Some people take out the bits of ginger, but I love to leave them in,
especially if you have a fine grater.
So this needs to go into the dishes now.
The easiest way to do this is to take your bowl
and then just pour it into a jug.
Then it's much easier to put into the dishes.
Just fill them up.
Almost all the way,
this lovely creamy mixture. Now these are going to be really good.
Right, those are done.
I'm going to put these in the oven for 30 minutes at 150 degrees
in a water bath.
Let's get this hot water.
Right. So I'm going to pour this into the tin.
I'm using a tin with quite high sides.
Just pour it so it comes halfway up
the sides of the dishes.
This will make sure that the creme brulee is cooked lovely and evenly.
There, that's a water bath.
When they are cooked, get them out to cool,
and chill them in the fridge for at least an hour.
The reason these went in the fridge
is because they get this lovely skin over the top.
Which is good for the next bit, the brulee-ing!
I'm just going to sprinkle over some caster sugar, just evenly
over the top, not too thick.
And then use your finger to smooth it around if you need to.
Here comes the fun bit.
So, I've got a blow torch.
You can use a grill to do this, but it's not nearly as fun.
Just turn on the gas.
And then, very gently, over the sugar.
And gradually it starts to bubble,
and now it's colouring, see that? Gorgeous.
This is such a good dessert for when friends come round.
Because you can do it ahead of time
and just finish it off when they arrive.
If it starts to smoke,
don't worry, all will be well.
They'll just go out, it will be fine.
So, just a little bit there, a stubborn bit.
I'm going to try and get him.
There. Now the rest.
Mmm, creme brulee.
Now, the absolute best part, of course
Oh, so satisfying.
And, of course, the eating.
Resistance is futile.
I've got a baker's dozen
of equipment, things that I just cannot bake without.
I also have that with ingredients, just things that I've got in stock,
so that whenever I feel the urge to bake, I can. Here's my list.
Strong white bread flour and, because I like
to add the raising agent myself, plain flour, not self-raising.
Then butter, unsalted.
I like to add the salt so I know exactly how much is going in.
And fresh eggs, free-range or organic.
Then salt, a pinch really adds flavour.
Baking powder, to make things rise.
And fast action dried yeast for breads and pizza dough.
And then, in the sweet corner, caster sugar, icing sugar and honey.
Then, extra virgin olive oil
for finishing off dishes and cooking with.
And finally, vanilla pods
and baking parchment.
And that's my basic kit. A baker's dozen of baking ingredients.
Sometimes, when I've got some time on my hands and I feel like
making bread, I love to make big fat salt and pepper bread sticks.
They're so good with dips and a beautiful glass of wine.
450g of strong white bread flour.
And then one packet of fast action dried yeast.
I always like to use fast action yeast,
because it's so hard to get fresh yeast.
One and a half teaspoons of salt, just regular table salt is fine.
Then you need 250mls of water.
Just enough to make a nice, soft, sticky dough.
I always say for bread, the wetter the better, you get a lovely rise
if you have lots of water in.
bring it together a little bit. This is just the simplest recipe, really.
So simple, so quick to put together.
Onto the mixer, and you'll need a dough hook for this,
and knead it for five minutes.
If you're doing it by hand, it will probably take about ten.
So, the dough's ready now.
People often say, how do I know it has been kneaded enough?
I always test by folding the bread
back on itself, so you get a nice tight top.
And you get a floured finger,
and gently push it in, and the dough will spring back.
That way, you know it's kneaded enough.
The dough needs to be divided into 12.
Cut the dough in half.
Then take that, and divide it into six.
So you've got nice 12 balls there.
You can be really precise if you want to, and weigh each one,
so that every one is the same size.
And if you did that, they'd weigh about 60 grams each.
So, take one ball in your hands, roll it
into a nice circle.
Then just gently roll it like.
Spread the fingers out, you'll get a nice, even bread stick shape.
And then on to the braking tray.
And I also like to do a twisted version.
You just slice down the breadstick
and wrap the two strands over each other. Easy.
Repeat with the rest of the dough, spacing them four centimetres apart.
Then spray some cling film with oil,
so the cling won't stick to the bread.
Cover the bread sticks loosely, but making sure it's airtight.
Then leave in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until the bread
sticks have almost doubled in size.
These have risen beautifully.
I'm going to brush them
with some olive oil, which will help the salt and pepper stick on.
Just one line down the centre.
This is extra virgin olive oil, you get that lovely depth of flavour.
I've got sea salt here.
Just sprinkle that on the top.
And then some pepper.
My rather embarrassingly large pepper mill.
A Christmas gift, so I must use it.
OK. Now these go into the oven.
200 degrees, for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until they're
lovely and firm and golden brown.
There you are. Red wine, dips, and bread sticks.
This is the beginnings of a very chilled evening.
Do you know, there is nothing better than a cup of tea
and slice of shortbread.
I've always got some in the cupboard for when friends come round.
This is the only recipe I inherited from my Polish grandmother.
Honestly, it is the best shortbread recipe I have ever tried.
Let me tell you how I make it.
Put 130 grams of butter, and 60 grams of caster sugar,
in a large bowl, and cream it until it is pale and fluffy.
Add 130 grams of plain flour, and 60 grams of rice flour,
which adds a bit of extra texture.
And a pinch of salt.
I know it seems really odd to add salt to a sweet recipe,
but it really does help bring out the flavour.
Stir the mixture until it's smooth and uniform, and bring it together.
Then press it into an eight-inch loose-bottom round cake tin.
To make it look beautiful, crimp the edges so it gets a lovely wavy edge.
Prick the dough all over a with fork, and mark it into eight pieces.
So, at this point, chill it down for about half an hour,
and then bake it in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes at 170 degrees.
Then, when it's done, sprinkle it with caster sugar and let it cool.
And this dream-like shortbread is that easy.
And it's great for sharing.
I'm going to see some friends tomorrow.
We're all bringing something to eat.
I am going to bring my sticky Asian baked ham.
But first, I need to soak it in cold water overnight.
It just draws out all the saltiness.
Right, I'm off to bed.
Now, look at this. Now I have to get rid of all this salty water.
I can't wait to eat this later.
I have to boil it, then glaze it, then bake it.
So, the first stage is
I'll just put a bit more water in.
I need to get this cooking.
This needs to cook for a good two hours.
It's a two-and-a-half kilo joint.
First, I need to bring it up to the boil. As soon as it's boiling,
lower the temperature to a simmer.
I'm going to add some aromatics,
so all the lovely flavour infuses the joint whilst it's cooking.
A couple of bay leaves, star anise.
I love star anise. An aniseed flavour.
A big handful of pepper corns.
And then some cloves,
and ginger. When I use ginger,
I don't bother peeling it, I just grate it in, peel and all.
Like that. You need about a one centimetre piece.
There you go. Then all these flavours are going
to make this joint taste amazing.
Afterwards, I often use this broth as a soup, because it's that good.
Pop the lid on.
OK, now for the sticky Asian glaze.
I don't use a garlic crusher.
What I do is squash each clove like that.
A bit of salt, and then grind it to a paste.
I suppose it is a little bit more work, but you get so much
more flavour out of it.
So, everything into the pan now. I've got the grated zest of half
one chilli and two cloves of garlic.
So, I need 220mls of honey, or grams.
If you weigh it on the scales, it's exactly the same.
Then, one teaspoon of Chinese five spice.
100mls of soya sauce,
really rich beautiful soya sauce, it gives a lovely saltiness to it.
Then I have the juice of half an orange.
And 240g of soft, light brown sugar, for that wonderful depth of flavour,
that caramelised flavour.
A quick stir.
And this really is packed with flavour.
There is so much flavour in the broth, and then this extra flavour
for the glaze, it's just perfect.
And then some pepper, just to add extra heat.
So, just pop that over a low heat.
I want all the sugar to dissolve,
and that will take about two or three minutes.
Right, get this on. 220 degrees.
And now I'll get my ham ready for the oven.
You just take it out of the water and pat it dry with kitchen paper.
Remove the thick layer of skin.
Cut diagonal slashes through the fat in one direction first,
and then the other,
to make diamond shapes.
Then, stick a clove in the centre of each diamond.
Last one in there.
And then onto a baking tin.
OK. The glaze.
It's nice and ready, nice and thick.
I'll just drizzle that over.
Beautiful smells coming out of this.
That chilli and soya sauce is so strong.
There's quite a lot of this left, but it's great to use
as a dipping sauce for afterwards.
So this is going to go into the oven at 220 degrees
for 30 minutes.
Once it's cool, me and the ham are going out.
# Sun is shining The weather is sweet, yeah
# Make you wanna move your dancing feet... #
The colours are amazing.
# When the morning gather the rainbow... #
-Yeah. Thank you.
Mmm, delicious. It's very tender.
Really, really good.
Really? Thank you. Thank you.
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Want stress-free ideas for entertaining? How about Lorraine Pascale's whisky and chilli tiger prawns? They are baked in the oven and ready in less than 30 minutes. She reveals her top three flavour enhancers, a chef's secret to fabulous baking, and a dinner party favourite gets the easy treatment with a delicious creamy mascarpone and ginger creme brulee.
Lorraine's got the makings of a very chilled evening, with big fat salt and pepper breadsticks - perfect with tasty dips and a glass of wine. She is sharing her baker's dozen of essential ingredients and has a basic recipe for fabulous shortbread, great for sharing - or not! Then it's time for a real savoury showstopper, sticky glazed Asian ham always goes down a storm. So sit back and let the oven do the work - who said entertaining wasn't easy?