I’ve been absorbed by the always-absurd Masterchef: The Professionals. Current professional chefs take part in elimination challenges under the bellow of Gregg Wallace and the bird-like gaze of Michel Roux Jr. It really only needs the super-intelligent yet engaging Michel, Gregg only serves to bark out a repeat of what the other guy just said.
One of the challenges for the wannabe Micheliners is to reproduce a ‘classic’ recipe under a time limit to test their skills. This week Michel announced that they would be making a ‘far breton’ or Brittany Cake. I’d never heard of this but it sounded delicious, so I set Google Chrome to work to find me a recipe. I devoured half a dozen or so to get the gist and then thought about how to make it my own. It’s a kind of yorkshire-puddingy type dessert with fruit in. I decided on mixed dried fruit (as I had it to hand) and ditched the prunes (as not enjoyed in my house) and substituted apples.
The result was very tasty, but already I’m planning my next one. It didn’t quite rise enough so I’ll return to my standard yorkie recipe, and try a different pan – my mix started to leak underneath and make battery tentacles on the baking tray! Still, nice and sweet and just right for this time of year.
70g caster sugar
Few drops vanilla essence
35g plain flour
Pinch of salt
Handful dried mixed fruit (raisins, sultanas etc.)
1 cooking apple, peeled, cored and diced
3 tablespoons marsala wine
- Cream the butter and half the sugar together. Add in the flour, vanilla essence, eggs and salt and mix to a smooth batter. Refrigerate while you get on with everything else.
- Soak the mixed fruit in water for an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 200C. Fry the apples in a dry pan with the rest of the sugar until they start to become tender. Add the fruit and their water and bubble until the liquid is reduced.
- Add the marsala wine and bubble fast until almost dry. Leave to one side to cool.
- Mix the fruit in with the batter and pour into a greased baking dish. Bake until browned and a skewer comes out of the cake clean (about 45 mins).
- Serve dusted with icing sugar. Good with custard too!