Comfort Home Cooking Made Easy


Comfort

Lorraine Pascale shares her delicious home cooking recipes. She starts with a menu of comfort food, including roasted butternut squash soup with chilli and ginger.


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Transcript


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I'm Lorraine Pascale and this is all about home cooking.

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Comfort recipes you can cook on crisp autumn days

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and chilly winter evenings when you just crave food that nurtures.

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I have loads of ideas for when you have time and when you haven't.

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New twists on favourites, cosy classics and fresh ideas.

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And inspiration from all over the globe, brought right back home.

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And of course, I'll be showing you my know-how tricks and cheats.

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This is relaxed and easy autumn home cooking - one of life's great pleasures - and it feels good.

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At this time of year, I always crave comfort food,

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so I always make sure I've got the ingredients in

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to make those nostalgic, cosy dishes that just make you feel...

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better.

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So first, I'm going to make a warming, colourful bowl

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of spicy roasted butternut squash soup, so perfect for autumn.

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Chocolate - even the word is comforting and delicious.

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..and peppermint creams dipped in chocolate.

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Then, there's got to be pasta - of course.

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When I've time, I make my basic recipe.

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Life's not always too short to make your own pasta.

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It's fabulous with creamy pancetta,

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mushroom and parmesan sauce,

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made from standby ingredients so rustling up dinner

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is never a problem.

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Then, something spicy, sweet and sour -

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my Asian chilli jam.

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Comfort in a jar - and it's great for gifts, by the way.

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Then, five-spice baked ribs with a sticky honey-sesame sauce.

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And finally, there's edible comfort in dessert form.

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Swiss roll bowl cake.

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Wait for this -

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three ingredients and no cooking.

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What's not to love about that?

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And they're easy, of course.

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Do you know... I'm feeling better already.

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You know, when the days start getting shorter,

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it says one thing to me - and that's soup.

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So, I've got a squash here and I've chopped it in half

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and slashed it criss-cross on the top.

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That just makes it cook more quickly.

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Inside, I've got this lovely specimen -

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roasted garlic.

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Put that in there.

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I've got one onion that I've cooked with olive oil and butter

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so you get lovely flavour.

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Cook them for about 15 to 20 minutes so they get nice and soft.

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Then, chilli. Cos I do like a little bit of spice.

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Just going to scoop out the squash.

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Drizzled with olive oil, seasoned with a little bit of salt and pepper

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and roasted for half an hour in the oven till it's lovely and soft.

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Still quite hot.

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I'm just going to grate in a one-centimetre piece of ginger.

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And stock.

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I've got 900ml of stock in there.

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One final stir and then I'm going to blitz it.

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I think that this dish is so warming and nurturing at this time of year.

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The beauty of this soup is that it's ready really pretty quickly.

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This is going to be so nice.

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So, I'm going to add a little bit of salt

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and a few twists of black pepper

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and lime.

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Add a bit of zing to it.

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Turn that off.

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And I'm going to ladle it into my bowl.

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Look at these lovely amber colours.

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One more scoop.

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There.

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And then I kept a few chillies back, so just sprinkle on the top.

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It's like a garnish really, but it adds lovely texture as well.

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And coconut milk.

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This adds really lovely flavour to the soup.

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Just a drizzle on top

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or you could use regular cream as well - that would work.

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And coriander - just pick off a few leaves.

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And I'm going to eat it right now.

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Very easy and very delicious.

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When I was a kid here in Witney, I had a paper round.

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The first day was a bit of a disaster

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because I missed off the first person on the list.

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So, every person after that got the wrong paper.

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Anyway, I went back to the newsagent and he just fired me on the spot.

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So, I rushed home in floods of tears

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and made myself a big bowl of steaming pasta with grated cheese.

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And I love pasta today, still. It's one of my cosy comfort foods

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and sometimes I make my own fresh pasta from scratch.

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It's really easy and very tasty.

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So, into a food processor, add 400 grams of 00 flour,

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four eggs...

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..a tablespoon of olive oil,

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and about one to two tablespoons of freshly cracked black pepper.

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Then blitz the mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs.

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And then tip it on to a work surface.

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Then knead it lightly for about a minute or so.

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And then form a ball of dough.

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The dough should be quite stiff and smooth.

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Then wrap the dough in cling film and leave it to rest for 30 minutes.

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Then start running the dough through the pasta rollers on my mixer.

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You can use a traditional pasta machine,

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or just a rolling pin if you prefer.

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Just keep feeding it through the rollers,

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putting it on a finer and finer setting each time.

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It takes a little bit of time but it's well worth it.

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It's ready when it's so thin that if you lift it up,

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you can see your hand behind it.

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Then lay the pasta down flat and sprinkle it with a little flour.

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Fold it in half, short end to short end,

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then again,

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and again,

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and again one more time.

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Cut vertical strips, about one to two centimetres wide,

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along the width of the pasta.

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Unfold it and hang it on a coat hanger,

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which keeps it from getting into a tangle

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and allows it to dry a bit before cooking.

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Just keep going until all the tagliatelle is hung up

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and once all the pasta's on the hangers, you're done.

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So, the pasta needs a sauce.

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My creamy mushroom sauce with pancetta and parmesan

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is one I find myself making time and time again.

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So I just start off with the pancetta.

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Cut that round there.

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I need about 100 to 200 grams.

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But it doesn't have to be precise.

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What I'm looking for

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is the pancetta to get really nice and golden brown and crispy.

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So I'll just get on with the mushrooms.

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I like to use chestnut mushrooms

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cos I think they've got a wonderful, nutty flavour.

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I've got about 175 grams here.

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In they go.

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And just cook them down for about two to three minutes.

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And now, I'm going to go and get my pasta.

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There you are.

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My pasta is ready.

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I think it looks pretty cool.

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What I normally do to get the pasta off

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is just slide a knife

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between the pasta. I normally miss one or two.

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All the way along.

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Just lift it off.

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Take the lid off.

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Got a big pot of boiling water here, with salt in.

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And then just slide it into the pot.

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I'll just do the other one.

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And I've used cracked black pepper for this pasta,

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but you can use beetroot for a lovely red

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or spinach for green,

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or even some saffron.

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And off like that.

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And then into the water.

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Now, that just needs to bubble away for about four minutes.

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Great.

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And now, cream.

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Pour that in. It's about 250ml.

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Mmm.

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Then grate some parmesan.

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Gruyere's great with this, or cheddar.

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But parmesan is a bit of a favourite of mine.

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Then I'll pop that cheese in.

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Give it a quick stir, then just leave it to melt with the heat off.

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Bit of pepper.

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I'm not going to add salt because parmesan's quite salty,

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as is pancetta.

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So I think there'll be enough in there as it is.

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The pasta looks ready now.

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Shake.

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OK.

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Now, I'm just going to empty this back into the pan.

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Now I'm going to pour in this creamy sauce.

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It's smelling really good.

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Yes.

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OK. Now a couple of turns with the spoon.

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Right.

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And scoop this in.

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Now this, to me,

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is pure comfort food.

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I'm going to finish it off with a little bit of basil.

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And I recommend this to all sacked paper girls!

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I'm always on the lookout for inspiration for new recipes,

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especially when I go on holiday and I experience all those wonderful new flavours.

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I love Thai food, French food, Sri Lankan food...

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but my biggest passion?

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Spanish. And my favourite place for Spanish food? Barcelona.

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I love Barcelona. It inspires so much of my cooking.

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The colours, the flavours, the tastes.

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Right now, it's all about home-made sweet treats.

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Wow!

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Fantastic! Now, I am a self-confessed chocoholic.

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I use it a lot in my home cooking

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and in Barcelona, they are absolutely mad for it.

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You can hardly move for chocolate shops.

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They've even got a chocolate museum. Now, how cool is that?

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Look at these.

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So good.

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Chocolate cookies!

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I think I'm in heaven!

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Yum. Now, I know some people think that they can't make their own sweets

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at home, but do you know what? It really is quite easy.

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So, you need 70 grams of butter.

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And I like to weigh out all my ingredients into the pan,

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rather than weighing them out into separate bowls and then

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putting them in the pan. It saves on washing up.

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So, that's about right. And then I need 120 grams of evaporated milk.

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And 300 grams of soft, light brown sugar.

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OK. And then marshmallows.

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Now, it's a bit strange making fudge with marshmallows

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but the marshmallows add sweetness and it helps the fudge to set.

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So, everything in. Then on the hob.

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And then I just want everything to dissolve.

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OK, the marshmallows are just about melted now.

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And then whack up the heat.

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And let it boil.

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This needs to boil for about five to six minutes.

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And now the chocolate.

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I'm going to use about 70 grams of this dark chocolate.

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70, 75.

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And then 300 grams of this milk chocolate.

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Now, you can grate it but I find grating takes ages.

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So I am all for chopping.

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Now, these two beauties,

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fudge and peppermint creams, really remind me of when I was younger.

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I used to make them so much as a child. They release my inner kid.

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All right, that's been bubbling away for about five minutes

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so I'm going to add the chocolate now.

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And then I want the chocolate to melt so I'm just going to leave it there

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to sit for about a minute and then I'll give it a good stir through.

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Just get rid of these and have a wipe down.

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OK, that chocolate is now ready.

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So, just give it a couple of stirs.

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And I've lined this tin with baking parchment.

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No need to do it all the way round. Just on either side like that.

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That's fine.

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OK.

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Oh, look at that!

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Now, that looks beautiful!

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There's a few lumps in there but that's fine.

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It all adds to the texture.

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Just sort of swish it around a bit.

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Like that.

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And I'll just leave that to set while I get on with my peppermint creams.

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Which... I've already made.

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I'm going to dip them in some melted chocolate but first,

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let me tell you how I made them.

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So I put 300 grams of icing sugar into a bowl,

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with 125 grams of condensed milk

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and a quarter of a teaspoon of peppermint extract.

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And then just mix into a dough

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and then roll the dough out to just about £1-coin thickness.

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And I cut it out into round shapes but you can do anything you like -

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stars, leaves, anything really.

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And keep re-rolling the mixture and cutting out mints

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until it's all used up.

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And now, time to dip.

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So, I'm just going to take one

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and then about halfway in the chocolate, like that.

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Let it drip off.

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And then back on the paper.

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Do another one.

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Lovely. OK, I'm going to dip a few more,

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then let them set, and then later I'll cut up the chocolate fudge.

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Peppermint creams and chocolate fudge.

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Yum!

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Comfort food means so many things to me

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and it's not just about eating it. It's also about cooking it,

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especially when it's cold outside and you want be at home all warm and cosy.

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When the nights are drawing in,

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sometimes I like to rustle up something requiring no cooking at all

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or cook a quick and tasty dinner,

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or spend a bit of time making something like chutney.

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I just find great comfort in the kitchen

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and that's where I'm going now, but first, I've got some shopping to do.

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When it comes to Christmas and birthdays, I find that

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I'm never normally stuck for a gift

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because I just love to give food as presents.

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Things like cookies and macaroons and hand-made chocolates.

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I just find that people think it's really personal.

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And they just seem to love it.

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So, I love to tie the gifts up with some ribbon

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and sometimes I buy the ribbon online,

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sometimes from a haberdashery store,

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but I just love an excuse to come to the market.

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And that one is perfect.

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-Thanks very much.

-Thank you.

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This time of year, I love to whip up jars of delicious chutneys and jams.

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And when it's cold outside, there's nothing like

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a warm, spicy savoury jam.

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So that's 450 grams of tomatoes

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and two roughly chopped garlic cloves.

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Two finely chopped red chillies,

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a one-centimetre piece of ginger that's been finely grated,

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250 grams of granulated sugar,

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60 grams of balsamic,

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some salt and pepper.

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Blitz everything together until it's finely chopped.

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Then pour it into a pan.

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And boil it for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring it occasionally

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until it thickens and becomes syrupy.

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When the time's up,

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take it off the heat and leave to cool for 20 minutes,

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before pouring it into sterilised jars using a sterilised jug.

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Some people boil their jars and equipment

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but I think the easiest way

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is to put them in a dishwasher on the hottest cycle.

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When it's cool, close the lid, tie the ribbon around...

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..and write a label - "Asian chilli jam" -

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tie it on and that's it!

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One as a gift.

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And one for me!

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Beautiful!

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Asian chilli jam.

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When I'm cooking at home, there are certain ingredients that I consider to be essentials, must-haves,

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and these are some of them.

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Dried pasta - always dried unless I make it myself -

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and rice - Arborio for risotto and paella,

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Basmati for serving with curry.

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Then tinned cherry tomatoes.

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I find them more tasty than regular tinned tomatoes.

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I use sea salt to finish dishes and in dressings

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because I just prefer the flavour.

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Mustard - I like mine to be the hot, English type - jarred and powdered.

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And garlic.

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It goes into so many of the things I cook - chopped, grated,

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made into a paste with some salt -

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but I never use a garlic crusher

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because I really don't like washing it up.

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Olive oil - Italian or Spanish.

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I just love the vibrant, fruity flavours.

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And as I am crazy for all things Spanish, sherry.

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I find a dry sherry is just great for sweet and savoury cooking.

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And those are my must-have ingredients.

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I'm doing a degree at university

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and I'm in the middle of my dissertation.

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So I've been sitting in the library trying to study, but...

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all I can think about are my spicy baked ribs with sticky honey sauce.

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So, I thought, "I'll knock the studying on the head for now,

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"go home and bake the ribs and try and do some studying later."

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I so often have ribs for dinner.

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They're just such a great comfort food and they're cheap,

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they're easy, everyone loves them

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and you don't even have to get the cutlery out. Perfect!

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The ribs are going to be sticky, sweet and spicy,

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just what you need in the nippiest seasons.

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Everything's ready. Time to cook.

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So, the first bit of flavour

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comes from the spice rub.

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It's a lovely combination of a tablespoon of five spice,

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one star anise, a tablespoon of fennel seeds

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and a few Szechuan pepper seeds.

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Mmm, it smells so good!

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Right, I'm just going to get these ribs all covered in this spice rub.

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And then pop them on to a baking tray.

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And then these need to go into the oven for about an hour

0:22:040:22:06

at 200 degrees.

0:22:060:22:09

And then I'm going to make a lovely honey glaze sauce

0:22:090:22:12

and then I'm going to do some homework.

0:22:120:22:14

And I know which one I'd prefer to be doing.

0:22:140:22:16

So, the sauce is two tablespoons of olive oil,

0:22:220:22:25

with a few squidges of honey, garlic, a couple of cloves - finely chopped -

0:22:250:22:31

and 150ml of soy sauce,

0:22:310:22:33

the zest of a lime, and sesame seeds.

0:22:330:22:37

They're optional, but I like to add about three tablespoons

0:22:370:22:40

because I just love that slightly nutty crunch.

0:22:400:22:44

Then one to two red chillies

0:22:440:22:45

that have been de-seeded and finely sliced.

0:22:450:22:48

Then, bring the sauce to the boil

0:22:480:22:50

and let it bubble away for a couple of minutes

0:22:500:22:52

and then take it off the heat.

0:22:520:22:54

And that's it!

0:22:540:22:56

This smells really good!

0:23:080:23:09

Right, the glaze.

0:23:110:23:13

I'm going to brush this on...

0:23:130:23:17

all over, so you can see it's lovely and sticky. Just what you want.

0:23:170:23:20

I don't put the glaze on at the beginning of cooking

0:23:200:23:23

cos otherwise the honey just burns in the oven.

0:23:230:23:25

Lovely. And then spring onions. I've got a bunch here.

0:23:260:23:32

Just sprinkle them over the top.

0:23:320:23:33

A nice colour that adds.

0:23:350:23:38

And salt and pepper. A bit of extra flavour.

0:23:380:23:41

Getting that salt there.

0:23:430:23:45

And some pepper.

0:23:460:23:47

Perfect!

0:23:510:23:53

Then, back in the oven for about 15 minutes.

0:23:530:23:56

There you go.

0:23:560:23:59

Now, I'll get on with the other stuff.

0:24:010:24:03

And to go with the ribs, rocket salad straight out of the bag,

0:24:030:24:07

drizzled in balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil

0:24:070:24:11

and that's all that's necessary.

0:24:110:24:13

And then just reheat the bit of glaze that was left over

0:24:160:24:19

to serve on the side.

0:24:190:24:21

Oh, yes!

0:24:230:24:24

Perfect!

0:24:250:24:27

Right, scrape these on to the plate here.

0:24:270:24:31

Pile them up nice and high like that.

0:24:360:24:40

And I want to get all this lovely spring onion, as well.

0:24:400:24:44

And I do like some colour in my dishes.

0:24:450:24:47

Just sprinkle a little bit of extra chilli on top.

0:24:470:24:51

Now, there's only one way to eat these -

0:24:530:24:56

and that's with your fingers.

0:24:560:24:58

Dinner!

0:24:580:24:59

So, the official name for this is Charlotte Royale,

0:25:060:25:10

but I like to call it Swiss Roll Bowl Cake.

0:25:100:25:14

It is made from shop-bought sponge Swiss roll,

0:25:140:25:17

just like the one my granny used to buy, and ice cream.

0:25:170:25:21

The sponge is dabbed with rum.

0:25:210:25:24

Right, off to the kitchen.

0:25:240:25:26

You just cut the Swiss roll into one-centimetre pieces.

0:25:290:25:35

So, I like to make it so that the swirl goes the same way.

0:25:370:25:41

I just think it looks so much more impressive.

0:25:410:25:43

I've made this loads of times and I've found the only Swiss rolls

0:25:470:25:50

that don't work are the ones that are covered in chocolate.

0:25:500:25:53

Now, that's the base.

0:25:530:25:57

So, there's lots of holes around there, lots of gaps,

0:25:570:26:02

so I'm just going to take a bit of Swiss roll,

0:26:020:26:04

just rip it up, squidge it up

0:26:040:26:07

and squish it into the gaps.

0:26:070:26:10

Now, I'm going to give it a little bit of a kick.

0:26:100:26:12

I'm going to use some rum.

0:26:120:26:14

Pour that in there.

0:26:140:26:16

You can use any alcohol you like - some amaretti, some sherry,

0:26:190:26:23

a bit of limoncello.

0:26:230:26:26

Or even apple juice.

0:26:260:26:27

So, just dab that all over the sponge.

0:26:270:26:32

I'm very excited about this cake!

0:26:340:26:36

That's it, all saturated.

0:26:400:26:43

Now, the chocolate ice cream!

0:26:430:26:45

Just squeeze the whole lot in!

0:26:450:26:48

Scoop out as much as I can there.

0:26:490:26:53

This is a three-litre bowl, so I've got between two and three litres of ice-cream.

0:26:530:26:58

The ice cream has just been softened a bit to make it easier to work with.

0:26:590:27:04

I'm going to refreeze it

0:27:040:27:05

so the rule here is to thaw it with the lid on, but not too much.

0:27:050:27:10

If I'm being really pedantic, to about minus 12 degrees,

0:27:100:27:13

which is the consistency of soft ice-cream

0:27:130:27:15

like you get from a van or at the seaside.

0:27:150:27:18

This cling film is so that once the cake is frozen,

0:27:180:27:23

it's much easier to take it out of the bowl.

0:27:230:27:25

You can see why this is on my "comfort cooking" list.

0:27:250:27:28

Three ingredients, no cooking, huge rewards - I love that.

0:27:280:27:32

It'll take a few hours to harden up in the freezer

0:27:320:27:35

and then it's ready to serve.

0:27:350:27:36

OK.

0:27:510:27:52

Now, this is ready.

0:27:520:27:54

I'm just going to warm it up a bit with my hands

0:27:540:27:57

so that it comes out more easily.

0:27:570:28:00

There. And just gently ease around the cling film, pulling it up.

0:28:010:28:07

And then pop a plate on top, upside down.

0:28:070:28:11

Flip it.

0:28:110:28:12

And now, hopefully...

0:28:140:28:17

Wow!

0:28:170:28:19

I am very happy with that!

0:28:190:28:20

I can't wait to get stuck into this.

0:28:210:28:23

A sprinkling of raspberries and a little bit of mint.

0:28:300:28:33

Now, that's what I call a cake. Delicious!

0:28:330:28:37

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:28:530:28:56

E-mail [email protected]

0:28:560:28:59

Lorraine Pascale uses her cooking know-how to inspire everyone to home cook the food they love. First up is cosy roasted butternut squash soup with chilli and ginger. Pasta has also made it on to the comfort menu with Lorraine's easy home-made cracked black pepper pasta which is fantastic with a simple creamy pancetta, mushroom and parmesan sauce made from standby ingredients.

Then there are two chocolate treats - chocolate marshmallow brown sugar fudge and peppermint creams sugar rush. And comfort in a jar comes in the form of Asian chilli jam. It is ideal to give as a gift or eat by the fireside when the nights are drawing in.

Next it is time for Lorraine's storecupboard standbys, her favourite ingredients that transform any dish from drab to fab. For dinner Lorraine thinks that after a hard day nothing beats five-spice baked ribs with a sticky honey sesame sauce. And for a cool dessert there is an unbelievably dramatic swiss roll bowl cake.


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