Fancy Something Sweet? Here Ar...

Mairead Ronan

Fancy Something Sweet? Here Are All The Recipes From Mairead's Baking Challenges!

Orla Ormond
Orla Ormond

3:47 PM - 2 Jul 2020



A lot of us have been using our time in lockdown to develop a new skill, and Mairead has been learning to bake.

It all started when Mairead mentioned on air that she simply could not bake. She can cook, but any attempts at baking had ended with the result going in the bin. Enter Mark Murphy from Dingle Cookery School!

Mark told Mairead that he had every confidence that she would be able to bake and volunteered to set her a baking challenge and guide her through each one. With mixed, but mostly positive results, Mairead has been baking up a storm!

Here are Mark's recipes if you would like to give them a go yourself:

KERRY APPLE CAKE:

Ingredients

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 110g butter, cubed and left at room temperature
  • 4 granny smith apples, peeled and sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 30ml milk
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 25g flaked almonds

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to 170°C.
  • Grease a 9” round baking tin.
  • Add the butter and caster sugar to a bowl, use a wooden spoon and mix the butter and caster sugar until it has all come together (this is known as creaming the butter and sugar).
  • Add in the eggs and milk, mix this, now add in the flour and give it a little mix.
  • Add the sliced apples and mix this all together. Your mixture should be a little wet, if not add another tiny drop of milk.
  • Put this all in the baking tin and smooth it all out.
  • Add some brown sugar and flaked almonds to the top
  • Bake in the oven for 35 minutes. Use a small knife or a skewer and pierce it carefully in the centre, it should be dry when you remove it, if not bake the cake for another 5 minutes or so.
  • Remove from the oven and leave it in the tin on a wire rack until it cools.
  • Serve warm with some whipped cream or custard (or better again with some ice cream).

 

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SWISS ROLL:

Ingredients

For the swiss roll:

  • 3 eggs
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 75g flour

For the filling:

  • 75g raspberry jam
  • 125ml cream

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  • Grease and line a 23cm x 30cm/9in x 12in Swiss roll tin.
  • Add the eggs and sugar to a mixer and whisk on high speed for about 3-4 minutes. The mixture should be light. Remove the whisk attachment and draw a figure of 8 in the mixture with the whisk.
  • If it holds the figure of 8 the mix is ready. If not, mix it again for a little while (this is known as the ribbon stage). Once this is ready remove the bowl from the mixer, the mixture should be really light now so be gentle with it.
  • Fold in the flour by using a large spoon or spatula and gently scrape around the sides and cut through the middle. Keep doing this nice and gently until all of the flour has been mixed through.
  • Pour the mixture carefully into the tin.
  • Bake in the oven for 7-10 minutes, or until light and springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and turn the sponge out onto another piece of greaseproof paper (dusted with caster sugar). Roll this up while warm.
  • For the filling, unroll the sponge spread the jam onto the sponge and then spread with the cream, leaving a small gap around the edges. Unroll the sponge and cover with jam and cram.
  • Allow to cool and dust with icing sugar and serve.

LUXURIOUS CHOCOLATE CAKE:

Ingredients

  • 50g dark chocolate, melted and allowed to cool
  • 200g butter, at room temperature
  • 200g light muscovado sugar
  • 80g cocoa powder
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 160 ml milk

For the frosting:

  • 85ml water
  • 20g dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 120g butter
  • 200g good quality dark chocolate

Method

  • Prepare two sponge tins (20cm) by brushing with melted butter or oil, line the bottom of each tin with parchment.
  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC
  • Add the butter and sugar to a mixing bowl. Use a spade attachment and cream this together (a large wooden spoon will do if you don’t have a mixer).
  • Keep the mixer on a slow speed. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until combined, you may need to scrape down the sides from time to time. Add in the milk and mix for a small while.
  • Sift together the cocoa, flour and baking powder.
  • Turn the mixer off and fold in the dry ingredients.
  • It will start to look like a cake batter this stage. Fold in the melted chocolate.
  • Divide this between two tins and bake for about 25-30 minutes. Place the tins on a wire rack for about 5-10 minutes before removing the cake from the tin. Allow the cakes to cool completely on the wire rack.

For the frosting:

  • This can be done while the cake is in the oven. Put the water, muscovado sugar and butter in a small pot over low heat. Once the butter has melted take the mixture of the heat and add in the chocolate. Put this into a bowl.
  • Leave this for about ½ hour, whisking now and again. This mixture will now be ready to apply over the cake (if it has become too hard you can always put the bowl over a pot with hot water to help it soften).

To assemble:

  • Make sure the both cakes have cooled.
  • Place one cake on a plate, spread a generous amount of frosting over the cake. Add the second cake on top (when adding the second cake remember to turn it over so that the flat part becomes the top of the cake). Spread a generous amount of frosting over the top layer. Spread some around the sides and use a spatula to spread the frosting evenly over the sides and top.

PROFITEROLES WITH CHOCOLATE SAUCE:

Ingredients

  • 75ml Milk
  • 75 ml Water
  • 70g Butter
  • 85g flour
  • 3 eggs whisked

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200ºc
  • Heat water and milk and butter in a pot. Once it comes to the boil remove from the heat and then tip the flour in all in one go, beat the flour into the liquid. Return the pot to the heat and cook while beating, you want to do this for at least 1 minute, this will cook the flour. When it is ready the paste should have formed a ball, it should be shiny and comes easily off from the sides of the pot.
  • Remove this from the heat and add to a bowl.
  • Add in about 1/3 of the egg. Beat this vigorously until the egg has been incorporated, add the next 1/3 of egg and repeat. You may not need all the egg so on the last 1/3 hold back a little. Mix it and see where you are with it, if it doesn’t seem too runny add in the last bit (sometimes it will take and sometimes it won’t) the mixture should be glossy and fall slowly off a wooden spoon.
  • Put this in a piping bag with a nozzle (5mm), if you don’t have a piping bag a tablespoon will do (dip it in water and take a spoonful from the bowl).
  • Pipe them in small balls on to a baking sheet leaving plenty of space between each one.
  • Place in the oven and do not open the oven for about 20 minutes.
  • Remove once they are baked and allow them to cool.
  • Once the have cooled pierce the bottom of each one carefully and then pipe some whipped cream (whipped with a little icing sugar) into each one.

For the chocolate sauce:

  • 150g plain chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 100ml cream
  • 2 tbsp. golden syrup/honey
  • knob of butter
  • pinch of salt

Method

  • Put the chocolate and cream into a small, heavy-based pan over a low heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate has melted into the cream to make a smooth paste.
  • Stir in the syrup, followed by the butter and salt, to give a glossy sauce.
  • Keep this warm and pour over the profiteroles.

 

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RED VELVET CAKE:

Ingredients

  • 330g flour
  • 280g caster sugar
  • 1tsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp bread soda
  • 300ml vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 250ml buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp red food colouring
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the cream cheese frosting

  • 400g cream cheese
  • 500g icing sugar, sifted
  • 220g butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  • Preheat the oven 180ºC. Grease and line two 20cm cake tins.
  • In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl add the remaining ingredients for the cake whisk this all together, and make sure to get plenty of air into them while whisking.
  • Add a third of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, fold this in carefully with a large spatula. When there are no more dry ingredients visible add in another 1/3. Fold in and repeat this with the remaining dry ingredients.
  • Carefully pour the batter between the two cake tins.
  • Place these in the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes. Insert a skewer and it should come out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin on a wire rack for about 5 minutes, then remove from the tins and allow to cool on a wire rack.

To make the cream cheese frosting:

  • Add the cream cheese, vanilla, icing sugar and butter to a large bowl. Mix this well
  • with a wooden spoon or spatula until it is smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix. Place this in the fridge to chill.

To assemble:

  • Once the cake has cooled, generously spread some of the mixture over one of the tops of one of the cakes (if the top has too much of a dome, carefully use a bread knife to level it a bit), place the other cake on top and spread the remaining frosting on top and down the sides.

LEMON MERINGUE PIE:

Ingredients

For the pastry:

  • 300g plain flour
  • 150g butter, cubed and chilled
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg

For the filling:

  • zest of 3 lemons, juice of 6
  • 50ml water
  • 25g cornflour
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 25g butter

For the meringue:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 220g caster sugar

Method

Grease an 23cm tart tin

For the pastry:

  • Place the flour in a large bowl and add the butter. Use your fingers to rub in the butter into the flour until it looks like sand or breadcrumbs. Gently add in the sugar. Next add the egg and work it very lightly until it all comes together. Once it has come together gently knead it for no more than 30 seconds. If you over work the pastry it will be tough. Wrap this in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • Remove this from the fridge and roll it out between two greased sheets of parchment. Roll it out until it fits the tart tin and remember to keep it thin. Place this in the greased tart tin and make sure it comes all the way up the sides of the tin. Place this in the fridge again for 30 minutes or so.
  • Preheat the oven 180ºC.
  • Place a sheet of parchment over the pastry and add baking beans or rice to blind bake it. Place this in the oven for about 18-20 minutes. Remove the parchment and beans and place the pastry back in the oven for about 2-3 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

For the filling:

  • Place the zest, juice, water in a pot. Whisk in the cornflour. Bring this to a boil. Add in the sugar, whisk again and take off the heat. Whisk in the egg yolks. Place back on a medium heat and cook for about 10 minutes. Keep stirring and it should start to thicken. Take it off the heat and whisk in the butter. Allow this to cool.

For the meringue:

  • Add the egg whites to a mixer with a whisk attachment. Turn on full speed. Allow the egg whites to foam up and increase in size. After about 3 minutes add in the sugar carefully while the mixer is still running. Mix for another few minutes. The mixture should be shiny and should hold it shape when you lift the whisk from it.

To assemble and bake:

  • Turn the oven to 165ºC
  • Pour the lemon filling into the pastry shell. Spoon the meringue over the filling and spread it out. Place this in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Allow to cool on a wire rack

 

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SALTED CARAMEL CHOCOLATE BROWNIES

Ingredients

For the salted caramel:

  • 90g butter
  • 90g dark brown sugar
  • 180ml cream
  • ½ tbsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. of vanilla extract

For the brownie:

  • 125g butter, cubed
  • 335g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1.5 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp. (45g) corn flour

Method

  • For the salted caramel:
  • Melt the butter in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium heat. Add the sugar and cream, whisk until well blended. Bring to a very gentle boil and cook for about five minutes, whisking occasionally.
  • Remove this from the heat and add the vanilla and salt. Stir this well. Taste a little but be careful the mixture will be very hot.
  • This will keep in a container in the fridge for 2 weeks (you may not need all of it for this brownie but you can keep it for other treats- maybe some ice cream with some warm salted caramel?).

For the brownie:

  • Line the inside of an 8-inch (21 cm) rectangular tray with parchment so that it goes up the sides to the rim. Lightly grease with oil.
  • Preheat the oven to 160ºC.
  • Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir to make sure both have melted. Remove this from heat and stir in the sugar, then the eggs, one at a time. Sift together the cocoa powder and corn flour in a small bowl then fold them into the chocolate mixture in two stages.
  • Beat the batter for at least one minute, until the batter is no longer grainy and nearly smooth.
  • Pour half of the brownie mixture into the prepared tray, drizzle some of the salted caramel over this, pour in the rest of the brownie mixture. Drizzle some more of the salted caramel over the top.
  • Place this in the oven for 40 minutes.
  • You can add some of the left-over salted caramel over the brownie while it is hot.

LEMON DRIZZLE CAKE

Ingredients

  • 155g softened butter
  • 230g caster sugar
  • 2 lemons zested
  • 3 eggs
  • 160ml milk
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 230g self-raising flour

For the syrup/glaze:

  • 120g caster sugar
  • 2 lemons juiced
  • For the candied lemon garnish (optional):
  • 2 lemons
  • 100ml water (boiling)
  • 200g sugar
  • 100ml water (cold)

Method

For the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 170ºC
  • Line a lb bread tin with parchment.
  • Add the butter, sugar and lemon zest to a bowl, use a mixer on a low speed to cream it together. Change the attachment to a whisk add the eggs one at a time and mix them in. Add in the milk and continue to mix it all together.
  • Sift the flour and the baking powder together, fold this carefully into the wet mixture. Put this mixture in the tin.
  • Place this in the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cook slightly, keep it in the tin, pierce the cake with a skewer in a few places, pour the warm syrup/glaze (method below) over the warm cake. Allow the cake to cool before taking it from the tin.

For the syrup/glaze (do this in the last few minutes while the cake is baking):

  • Put the sugar and lemon juice in a small pot, heat this over a medium heat. Cook for about 8 minutes.
  • If using the candied lemon, add some to the pot just before pouring over the warm cake.

For the candied lemon garnish (optional):

  • Use a vegetable peeler to remove the lemon peel from each lemon. Go lightly to only remove the lemon and not the white pith. Once you have all the lemon in strips, cut them into fine strips. Place them in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave this sit for 30 minutes then strain.
  • Bring the sugar and cold water in a small pot, bring this to a boil and then turn it down and cook for about 10 minutes. Allow this to cool, this can be kept in a jar for 3 weeks.

BLUEBERRY AND THYME MUFFINS

Ingredients

  • 260g plain flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • 110g butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 230ml buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 300g blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (optional)

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 165°C.
  • Place muffin cases into a muffin tray. Mix the blueberries, thyme (if using) and a tbsp. of flour in a bowl. Sift the remaining flour, and baking powder baking soda together.
  • Using a mixer to cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl. Lightly whisk the eggs and vanilla in a small bowl, add this gradually to the butter and sugar mixture while the mixer is running.
  • Mix the buttermilk and lemon zest in a small bowl add this to the mixing bowl, making sure to scrape down the sides of the mixer. Turn off the mixer and fold in the dry ingredients. Add the blueberries into in the mixture. Spoon some the batter into the prepared muffin tin (I used a piping bag with no nozzle in the video).
  • Place this in the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes. Pierce the centre of one with a skewer, if it comes out clean they are ready if not put back in for a few more minutes.

 

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STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE

Ingredients

For the strawberries:

  • 500g strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp. caster sugar
  • 1 lemon zested & juice of ½ lemon
  • dash of balsamic vinegar

For the cream:

  • 500ml cream
  • 2 tbsp. icing sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the sponge:

  • 5 eggs
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150g plain flour, sifted
  • 25g butter, melted (and cooled)
  • ¼ lemon juiced

Method

  • Prepare the strawberries first. Add the caster sugar, lemon zest, juice and balsamic vinegar to the strawberries, mix together and leave aside for the flavours to develop.
  • Whip the cream to soft peaks, add the vanilla and icing sugar.
  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC and prepare two sponge 20cm cake/sponge tins.
  • Add the eggs and sugar to a bowl of a mixer, mix at full speed for about 4-5 minutes. The mix should have increase in size and when you dip the whisk attachment in the mix and lift it draw a figure of 8 in the mix it should hold its shape. The batter is very delicate here, so be gentle with it.
  • Carefully fold half of the flour in to the mix, and then repeat with the remaining flour. Divide this carefully between the two cake tins.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Check the sponge by pressing lightly on the top, there should be a slight bounce. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool, after 10 minutes remove form the tin.
    to assemble
  • Take one of the sponges (make sure they are cool), place this on a cake stand or a plate, spread plenty of cream over the top and then half of the strawberries, place the other sponge on top and add cream and strawberries.

 

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RASPBERRY AND ALMOND TRAY BAKE

Ingredients

  • 200g butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g ground almond
  • 3 eggs
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 300g raspberry
  • 2 tbsp. flaked almond
  • icing sugar, to serve

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC
  • Prepare a 23cm x 30cm/9in x 12in baking tray.
  • Cream the butter and caster sugar in a mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix in the ground almonds and then the egg and vanilla. Add in the flour and mix it through.
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the raspberries, some may crush while doing this. Spread this mixture on the prepared tray. Sprinkle the ground almonds over the top.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, check with a cake skewer, if it comes out clean it is done. Place on a wire rack after 15 minutes remove from the tin and place on the wire rack. Once cool, sprinkle with icing sugar.

 

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BAKED CHEESECAKE

Ingredients

For the base:

  • 75g butter melted, plus a little extra to prepare the tin
  • 120g digestive biscuit, made into fine crumbs
  • 1 tbsp. cater sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest

For the cheese cake filling:

  • 750g full fat cream cheese
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cornflour flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 eggs, plus 1 yolk
  • 200ml sour cream

For the soured cream topping:

  • 100ml sour cream
  • 1 tbsp. caster sugar
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 150g raspberries

Method

  • Preheat the fan oven 190ºC.
  • Prepare a 23cm springform tin, brushing it all around the base with melted butter. Line the bottom with a circle of parchment and brush lightly with melted butter.

For the biscuit base:

  • In a bowl, stir in the biscuit crumbs, sugar and lemon zest, add in the melted butter and gently mix this through. Place this in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to set.

For the filling:

  • In a large bowl, add the cream cheese, beat this with a mixer on a low speed (if you don’t have one a whisk with a little elbow grease will work). Add the sugar, then the cornflour and a pinch of salt. Mix this well and get some air into the mix. Make sure to scrape down the sides as you mix.
  • Add the vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice. Once this has mixed in add the eggs and yolks one at a time. Stir in the soured cream and use a large spoon or spatula to fold this in. The mixture should be smooth, light and with some air.
  • Pour this filling into the tin. Tap it gently to help know out large bubbles.
  • Bake for about 10 minutes and then turn temperature down to 100ºC. Allow the cheesecake to cook for another 25 minutes. Give the cheese cake a little shake, it should have a little wobble at this stage.
  • You can now turn the oven off and leave the cheese cake inside for about 2 hours (after one hour you can open the door of the oven but still leave it inside, this helps it not to dry out).

For the topping:

  • Mix the soured cream, sugar and lemon juice.
  • Spread this over the cheesecake evenly to the edges. Place the raspberries on top and put this in the fridge overnight to set.

 

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Tune in to Mairead Ronan on Monday - Friday from 12pm.



Read more about

Baked Cheesecake Baking Blueberry Muffins Cakes Cooking Dingle Cookery School Kerry Apple Cake Lemon Drizzle Cake Lemon Meringue Pie Luxurious Chocolate Cake Mark Murphy Profiteroles Raspberry Almond Tray Bake Recipes Red Velvet Cake Salted Caramel Chocolate Brownies Strawberry Shortcake Swiss Roll

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