For the first time batter has featured in the Great British Bake Off … and probably the last time as the news reaches us that the show is moving over to Channel 4 without Mel, Sue, or Mary Berry. Sad news, as whatever Bake Off becomes, it won’t be the same series we all fell in love with.
Back to batter: the challenges this week were for filled yorkshire puddings, a technical lace pancake, or churros. I love churros and we used to eat it regularly on holiday in Spain, dipped in thick melted chocolate, or drenched in cinnamon sugar. However, I hate deep frying as I don’t own a deep-fryer, and am always paranoid about using a saucepan full of hot oil.
The lace pancakes looked very pretty on the show, but I don’t really understand the point of them: essentially they are just a very small portion of pancake, and therefore don’t appeal to my greedy personality.
I do love yorkshire puddings, and I always use a variation of this Delia recipe for mine, which works very well for plain yorkies, or toad in the hole. But what to fill them with? I had no idea until I slow roasted a duck last weekend with Chinese five spice, and realised that the leftovers would be perfect to fill the puds, as a take on crispy duck and pancakes you’d get from a Chinese restaurant.
I always slow roast duck: it’s a fatty bird and slow roasting renders down the fat, allows the skin to crisp, and leaves the meat moist and flavourful. Additionally, when the bird has cooled, the duck meat falls of the bone so nothing is wasted. I find when you don’t slow roast duck, it’s quite hard to remove all the meat from the bones, and it feels like an expensive waste of money (incidentally, I only ever buy duck when it’s on special offer, as otherwise it’s too pricey for my budget).
I generally season duck with Chinese five spice powder, even if I am making a traditional roast dinner. For me it’s the perfect flavour to have with duck. I can never make a gravy with the meat juices as they are too fatty, so I rarely have a ‘traditional’ roast dinner with duck anyway. This time I’d baked some new potatoes in the duck fat and cooked some leeks and peas in chicken stock to accompany the duck (that brings a little sauce to the plate to replace the gravy). Andrew and I had a breast each, leaving plenty of rich dark meat for my GBBO challenge. And this is what I did.
Chinese style duck filled yorkie puds – makes 6 medium sized puddings (serves 6 as a starter or 2-3 as a main course)
- For the yorkshire puddings – 175g plain flour, 2 eggs, 290ml skimmed milk, pinch of salt, vegetable oil
- For the filling – approximately 2 legs and 2 wings of cooked duck including the skin, 6 spring onions, 1/4 cucumber, hoisin sauce
Turn your oven on to 220 degrees. Put a teaspoon of oil into each hole in your yorkshire pudding dish (I use a silicone muffin tin which makes six medium yorkies from this mixture) and place in the oven to heat while you make your batter.
Measure the milk into a large jug (I use skimmed milk as that’s what I have in the house, but you could use a mixture of whole milk and water if you prefer), then beat in the eggs. Add the flour and salt and whisk together until you have a smooth batter (I never sieve my flour, and this has never proved to be a problem). Pour the mixture equally into each hole of your yorkie dish and bake in the oven for approximately 40 minutes until golden and risen.
10 minutes before your yorkshire puddings are ready, break up your duck meat into small chunks and dry fry in a pan to heat it through. You want any skin to start to become crispy in the heat. Slice 4 spring onions and add them to pan with the duck and stir until they have softened. Season the duck meat with salt.
Assemble each pudding by filling them with the hot duck, top with a squirt of hoisin sauce, and garnish with sliced spring onion and cucumber. Serve immediately. Andrew the greedy pig managed three puddings, and I ate two. I think one per person would make a great little starter.
I am too late to join in with this week’s GBBO bloggers challenge, but do visit Mummy Mishaps to see what my fellow bloggers made for the batter week challenge.
Next week is pastry week, and I have a feeling I’ll be making Danish pastries. What about you?