GIY Diaries and Bake Cookbook


A new name has just burst into the Irish cookbook scene – a larger than life character known to many as the ‘cupcake bloke’ from his bakery in Dublin’s Rialto. I heard him speak for the first time recently at Food On The Edge and was enchanted by his enthusiasm for baking. He charmed the audience of top chefs and food writers from around the world with stories of learning how to bake at home from his Granny Flynn, Mammy, aunts and neighbours, all of whom love to bake and share.

Graham Herterich was brought up over his family’s butcher shop in Athy, Co. Kildare. Originally, he thought of following in the family tradition but then went on to study Culinary Arts at WIT in Waterford, spent several stints and ‘stages’ in many top restaurant kitchens and two years with a Carmelite Community. Although he greatly enjoyed the experience, Graham decided that religious life was not for him and after a period of travel and a spell in product development and food production, he decided with encouragement from friends and mentors to open his own business in 2018… 

The bakery in Rialto quickly became a much-loved part of the community. Graham specialises in taking classic Irish recipes, like soda bread, tarts, porter cake, barmbrack…and gives them a modern twist – how about panch phoran soda bread, West Indies porter cake or barmbrack with many toppings and flavoured butters. In his new book, ‘Bake’, every traditional Irish recipe is followed by a modern interpretation. I love how he evokes memories of our favourite bikkies – remember Mikado, bourbons, lemon puffs and had a Retro Biscuit League to discover his customers’ favourites. You’ll have fun with ‘Bake’, a perfect presume to get all your pals baking.

Michael Kelly of GIY on the other hand is very well known and much admired for the ground-breaking work he and his ace team have done and continue to do… 
Michael, charismatic founder in 2008 of GIY (Grow It Yourself), the social enterprise that encourages and teaches people to grow their own nutritious vegetables, fruit and fresh herbs. Well known to millions through his prime-time TV series and Amazon Prime, Michael and his team have taken the mystery out of starting a vegetable patch and shown us all the magic of sowing a seed and watching it grow into something delicious to eat.

For the wannabe gardeners in your life, seek out Michael’s latest book ‘The GIY Diaries – A Year of Growing and Cooking’ Michael’s passion for teaching leaps off every page as do Sarah Kilcoyne’s illustrations.

He shares his deep knowledge and experience in day by day lessons and encourages all of us to experience the joy of growing and the satisfaction of becoming at least somewhat self-sufficient.
Lots of brilliant practical suggestions on how we can do our bit to combat climate change, biodiversity loss, food security concerns and the rapidly rising cost of living.
Every month there are recipes to make the most of your seasonal harvest, how to use every scrap, store and preserve a glut…
So many practical tips to empower you to join the Grow-It-Yourself food revolution.

‘The GIY Diaries – A Year of Growing and Cooking’ by Michael Kelly published by Gill Books

‘Bake – Traditional Irish Baking with Modern Twists’ by Graham Herterich published by Nine Bean Rows

Graham Herterich’s Mammy Buns

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always referred to buns as ‘mammy buns’. That what our mammy made and if you went to a friend’s house as a kid and there were buns, you could be assured they were made by their mammy.

Makes 12 large cupcakes or 24 small traditional buns

165g (5 1/2oz) butter, very soft
165g (5 1/2oz) caster sugar
165g (5 1/2oz) self-raising flour
3 medium eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

To decorate (choose one):
jam and desiccated coconut
jam and buttercream frosting or whipped cream
buttercream frosting and sprinkles

Preheat the oven to 180˚C fan.
Like your cupcake or bun trays with paper cases (12 cupcake cases or 24 smaller bun cases).

Put all the ingredients in a large bowl. Using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix everything together until you have a smooth, well-combined, fluffy batter. This will take a minute or two.

Divide the batter between the paper cases. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes for the larger cupcakes or 14-16 minutes for the smaller buns, until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle of each cake comes out clean.

Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely, then decorate as desired.

1. Spread a little jam across the top of each bun and roll in desiccated coconut.

2. Cut the top off each bun. Decorate with a little jam and frosting or freshly whipped cream. Cut the top in half and place back on the bun to look like butterfly wings.

3. Pipe on some buttercream frosting and decorate with sprinkles.

Buttercream Frosting
This is a simple frosting that’s perfect for decorating these buns. Using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, start on a slow speed (or you’ll have a big mess!) and beat 150g (5oz) very soft butter with 300g (10oz) icing sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Continue to beat for about 5 minutes, adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of milk if you would like to make the frosting a little softer.

Graham Herterich’s Tahini and Black Sesame Cupcakes

‘A lot of people know me as The Cupcake Bloke, the name of the business I started with my husband in 2012, so I couldn’t write this book without including at least one cupcake.’

Makes 12

165g (5 1/2oz) self-raising flour
165g (5 1/2oz) caster sugar
115g (scant 4 1/4oz) butter, very soft
50g (2oz) tahini
3 medium eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds, plus extra to decorate (see note)

100g (3 1/2oz) butter, softened
50g (2oz) tahini
300g (10oz) icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180˚C fan.
Line your cupcake tray with paper cases.

Put all the ingredients except the black sesame seeds in a large bowl. Using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix everything together until you have a smooth, well-combined, fluffy batter. This will take a minute or two. Gently fold in the black sesame seeds.

Divide the batter between the paper cases. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle of each cake comes out clean.

Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

To make the frosting, using an electric mixer or the stand mixer again, mix the softened butter with the tahini and icing sugar, starting slowly or you’ll have a big mess! Continue to whisk for about 5 minutes, adding a little milk if you would like to make the frosting a little softer.

Using either a piping bag, a palette knife or a spoon, divide the frosting between the cupcakes. To decorate, sprinkle with more black sesame seeds.

You can get black sesame seeds from Asian food shops.

Graham Herterich’s Pork and Fennel Rolls with Fennel and Apple Slaw

I adore the sweet, mild aniseed flavour that comes from fennel. It works really well in both sweet and savoury dishes, and pork with a mix of fresh fennel bulb and fennel seeds is a great combination.

Makes 6

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
25g (1oz) butter
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, finely sliced (keep any green fronds)
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed, plus extra for sprinkling on top
600g (1lb 5oz) pork mince or sausage meat (I like to use a mix of both)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry
plain flour, for dusting
1 medium egg, beaten

For the fennel and apple slaw:
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
juice of 1 lemon
2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced (keep any green fronds)
1 apple, peeled, cored and cut into thin strips

Preheat the oven to 180˚C fan.
Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.

Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook gently for about 5 minutes, until starting to soften. Add the sliced fennel bulb and cook for a further 10 minutes, adding the crushed fennel seeds just before you take the pan off the heat. Allow to cool.

Put the pork mince and/or sausage meat in a bowl (first removing the skins if using whole sausages) along with the cooled onion and fennel. Season with a little salt and pepper and mix well by hand.

Unroll the pastry on a lightly floured work surface and cut it lengthways into two long, even rectangles.

Divide the sausage filling in two. Roll half of the filling into a long sausage shape with your hands along the centre of each rectangle.

Brush the pastry on one side of the filling with the beaten egg, then fold the other side of the pastry over the filling, wrapping it inside. Turn so that the seal is on the bottom of the sausage roll. Cut each long roll into three and space them out on the lined baking trays.

Brush the top of each roll with the beaten egg and sprinkle on some extra fennel seeds. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until puffed up, golden and cooked through.

To make the slaw.

Mix the mayonnaise, mustard and lemon juice together in a large bowl, then season with salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Add the sliced fennel bulb, apple and any green fennel fronds and stir them into the sauce until evenly coated.

Serve the warm sausage rolls with the slaw on the side.

Michael Kelly’s Raw Kale Salad

This recipe will open your eyes to the potential of kale for salads. Massaging the kale with lemon juice and salt in effect cooks it and makes it far more palatable while retaining its nutrients. I was sceptical about the culinary merits of a kale salad until I tasted this – it’s delicious. It will keep for three days in the fridge.

Serves 4

250g (9oz) kale
juice of 1 lemon
2-3 pinches of salt
olive oil
1 small red onion, finely sliced
25g (1oz) dried cranberries, finely chopped
50g (2oz) cashew nuts, roasted and chopped
2-3 stalks of celery, finely chopped

Remove the stalks from the kale and chop the leaves into fine strips. Place in a large bowl with the lemon juice and salt until it starts to soften a little. Sprinkle with olive oil and leave it to sit for another 10 minutes. Add the red onion, cranberries, cashew nuts and celery and mix well. Later in the year you could add some cherry tomatoes or cucumber to this salad.

Michael Kelly’s Sausage and Beer Stew

So many of my recipes at this time of the year focus on the available root crops that I have either in the ground or in storage, such as carrots, parsnips, celeriac and beets. Don’t worry too much about sticking to the veg ingredients too rigidly – you could use celery instead of celeriac, swede instead of squash, etc.

Serves 4

olive oil
6-8 good-quality dinner sausages
2 onions, diced
1 leek, trimmed and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1/2 celeriac, diced
1 x 330ml (11fl oz) bottle of beer
500ml (18fl oz) beef or chicken stock
400g (14oz) tin of tomatoes or 2 tablespoons tomato purée
2 tablespoons chopped herbs (parsley, rosemary and thyme)
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon mustard (I use Dijon)
1/4 squash or pumpkin, peeled and chopped into large chunks
salt and pepper

crusty bread or baked potatoes, to serve

Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan. Cut the sausages into chunks and fry them for a minute or so on each side, until browned. In the same frying pan, fry the onions, leek, garlic, carrots and celeriac on a gentle heat for about 10 minutes, until soft. Transfer to a heavy saucepan or casserole.

Pour the bottle of beer into the frying pan to deglaze the pan, scraping any nice brown bits off the pan with a wooden spatula. Bring to the boil and let it simmer for about 10 minutes to reduce down a little. Add it to the veg with the stock, tomatoes, herbs, bay leaf and mustard. Bring to the boil and then add the squash or pumpkin. Cook for 15 minutes with the lid on.

Add the sausages to the saucepan and cook for another 15 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Check the consistency – leave to simmer for another 10 minutes if it needs to be thickened or add a little boiling water if it’s too thick.

Serve with crusty bread or baked potatoes.

About the author

Darina Allen
By Darina Allen


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