- For the double chocolate chip cookies
- makes 20 large cookies
- 225 g (8oz) butter, softened
- 325 g (111/2oz) caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 225 g (8oz) plain flour
- 75 g (3oz) cocoa powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 175 g (6oz) dark chocolate (55–70% cocoa solids), chopped into small pieces, or dark chocolate chips
- For the cheesecake
- 15 g (1/2oz) cocoa powder, sifted
- 25 ml (1fl oz) strong coffee, such as espresso
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 500 g (1lb 2oz) mascarpone
- 400 ml (14fl oz) double or regular cream
- 50 g (2oz) icing sugar
- 50 g (2oz) dark chocolate (55–75% cocoa solids), grated, for sprinkling
- 9-12 of the double chocolate chip cookies
- 23cm (9in) diameter spring-form cake tin
- Place the butter in a large bowl and beat until very soft. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Crack in one egg at a time, beating between each addition, then add the vanilla extract. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt, then add the chocolate pieces/chips and fold in to combine. Alternatively, place all the ingredients except the chocolate pieces/chips in a food processor and whiz briefly until they come together, then fold in the chocolate.
- With wet hands, form the dough into balls each the size of a golf ball (or use two soup spoons to scoop up and shape the same amount of dough). Arrange on the prepared baking sheets, placing 6–7 balls of dough on each sheet and leaving space for the cookies to spread.
- Bake for 10–14 minutes or until the cookies look slightly cracked on top. (With three baking sheets, you will need to cook them in three batches, or two batches in a fan oven.) Take out of the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes, then remove from the baking sheets using a palette knife or metal fish slice and place on a wire rack to cool down completely.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, coffee, vanilla extract, mascarpone, cream and icing sugar for 1–2 minutes or until thick.
- Arrange one-third (3–4) of the cookies in the bottom of the cake tin, then spread over one-third of the chocolate cream mixture. Add a second layer of cookies, then another layer of chocolate cream, followed by a final layer of cookies and a final layer of chocolate cream.
- Use a spatula to smooth the top layer of chocolate cream, then cover the tin with cling film and place in the fridge to chill for eight hours or overnight.
- To remove the cheesecake from the cake tin, run a small, sharp knife around the cheesecake to loosen the edges, then unfasten the clip and lift away the sides of the tin. Using a palette knife or a metal fish slice, loosen the cheesecake from the base of the tin and carefully slide off onto a plate. Sprinkle with the grated chocolate to serve.
Making mince pies is truely enjoyable. I used to think that making your own mince pies was a ridiculous notion. Believe me, it isn’t.
- 240g/8oz plain flour
- 60g/2oz vegetable shortening
- 60g/2oz cold butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 orange, juice only
- pinch salt
- 350g/12oz Christmas mincemeat
- icing sugar, for dusting
- You will need a miniature tart tray, each indent 4.5cm/1¾in diameter, a 5.5cm/2¼in round fluted biscuit cutter and a 4cm/1½in star-shaped pastry cutter.
Sift the flour into a shallow freezer-proof bowl, then add small mounds of vegetable shortening.
Add the butter, shake to cover it, then place into the freezer to chill for 20 minutes. (This will make the pastry tender and flaky.)
Mix the orange juice and salt in a separate bowl. Cover and leave in the fridge to chill.
After the 20 minutes, empty the chilled flour and shortening mixture into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to make porridge-like crumbs.
Gradually add the chilled salted orange juice, pulsing until the mixture is just coming together as a dough. Stop just before it comes together (even if some orange juice is left). If all the juice is used up before the dough has begun to come together, add some iced water.
Turn the mixture out onto a clean, floured work surface and, using your hands, knead the mixture to form a dough.
Divide and shape into three equal-sized discs (you’ll need to make the mince pies in three separate batches of 12, unless you’ve got enough tart tins to make all 36 pies at once).
Wrap each disc in cling film and place into the fridge to rest for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
Remove a pastry disc from the fridge and roll out on a floured work surface thinly, but so that it will be sturdy enough to support the dense mincemeat filling.
Using a fluted pastry cutter, cut out 12 circles a little wider than the moulds in the tart tins. Press the circles gently into the moulds.
Place a teaspoon of mincemeat into each pastry case.
Reroll any remaining dough to a similar thickness, then using a star-shaped cutter, cut out 12 stars and place each lightly onto the mincemeat filling.
Transfer to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the pastry is golden-brown. Keep an eye on them as they don’t take very long to cook.
Remove from the oven, prising out the little pies straight away and placing onto a wire rack to cool. Allow the empty tray to cool down before repeating the steps from step 10. Repeat until you have made 36 mince pies.
Dust the mince pies with icing sugar and serve.
Stir halved grape tomatoes into melted Kerrygold Garlic & Herb Butter; cook for 2 minutes to heat tomatoes. Toss with hot, cooked linguine, adding additional butter to taste; season with salt and pepper. Stir small boccaccini (fresh mozzarella balls) into hot pasta. Cook just until cheese starts to melt. Top with with shredded Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese and snipped fresh basil.
This is a very filling soup that is actually a recipe of my mum’s that we have been making on and off in the restaurant for years. Use the very best quality fish and shellfish for the best flavour
- 1 tblsp rapeseed oil
- 1 tblsp butter, softened
- 2 large potatoes, cut into 1cm (1/2in) dice
- 1 small onion, cut into 1cm (1/2in) dice
- 1 carrot, cut into 1cm (1/2in) dice
- 1/2 small leek, cut into 1cm (1/2in) dice
- 1 tblsp plain flour
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 150 ml (1/4 pint) dry white wine
- 300 ml (1/2 pint) fish stock (page 254)
- 100 g (4oz) skinless salmon fillet, cut into cubes
- 100 g (4oz) smoked coley fillet, cut into cubes
- 100 g (4oz) cooked mussel meat
- 100 g (4oz) cooked peeled prawns
- 150 ml (1/4 pint) cream
- 1 tsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tsp chopped fresh dill
- 1 tblsp parsley oil (page 250), to garnish
- fresh micro salad, to garnish
- makes about 1.2 litres (2 pints)
- 250 g (9oz) white fish trimmings and/or bones (such as lemon sole, brill or plaice bones)
- 3 leeks, trimmed and chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped
- large handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 175 ml (6fl oz) dry white wine
- 100 g (4oz) fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 100 ml (3 1/2fl oz) rapeseed oil
- sea salt
- Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and then add the butter. Once it stops sizzling, tip in the potatoes, onion, carrot and leek and cook for 5 minutes, until softened but not coloured. Add the flour and cook on a low heat for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Season to taste.
- Gradually pour the wine into the pan and allow it to bubble down, stirring continuously. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the salmon and coley and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the mussel meat, prawns and cream and simmer for another 2–3 minutes, until warmed through. Stir in the herbs and season to taste.
- To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish each one with the parsley oil and micro salad.
- Rinse the fish bones and trimmings of any blood, which would make the stock look cloudy and taste bitter. Place into a large heavy-bottomed stockpot with the leeks, carrots, fennel and parsley.
- Pour in the white wine, then add 2.4 litres (4 pints) cold water to cover the fish and vegetables. Place on a high heat and bring to a simmer. After 5 minutes, remove the scum that forms on the surface with a spoon and discard. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes, skimming as necessary.
- At the end of the cooking time, remove the stock from the heat and strain, discarding the fish trimmings and the vegetables. Cool and store in a plastic covered jug in the fridge and use as required.
- Pick the leaves from the parsley and place in a mini blender, discarding the stalks. Add the rapeseed oil and a pinch of salt and blend for 5 minutes, until completely smooth.
- Pass the parsley mixture through a fine sieve into a jug and then transfer to a squeezy bottle. Use as required.
Neven’s tips: This soup can be made up to 24 hours in advance and kept covered in the fridge. Just be careful when reheating not to allow it to come to the boil or the fish will lose its texture. Splash out on a rosé Champagne, rosé Cava or a ripe Chardonnay from Macon in Burgundy.
This recipe and many more are available in Neven Maguire’s The MacNean Restaurant Cookbook, published by Gill & MacMillan Books and available to buy here.