DIY Brunching at Ballymaloe

Ballymaloe Cookery School, founded in 1983, has produced some of Ireland's greatest chefs, and is of course home to the country's favourite food personalities; Darina and Rachel Allen, and my favourite condiment, Ballymaloe Relish. Having grown up in a family of foodies based in West Cork, I've always wanted to visit the infamous cookery school, and so when Lara at Herbalife Nutrition reached out to me about attending a Pancake Masterclass in Ballymaloe with Rachel Allen, I was more than delighted to attend, and of course couldn't pass on the opportunity to bring along my sister Molly, who's a huge Rachel Allen fan, and a general all around mini cooking sensation.

If you know me, then you'll know that I stand by the philosophy that Sunday's are for brunching (I even wrote a whole blog post about brunch in Cork right HERE). So I was more than delighted to see the spread that Rachel and her team at Ballymaloe had prepared for us. We were greeted with teas, coffees and cakes before sitting down for a lunch of local, fresh produce; the perfect fuel for a hectic cookery class!

While cooking has always been a huge part of our lives, there are two dishes that I know I can nail every time; pasta bake and pancakes. Usually I make crepe style pancakes, and my mom specialises in the fluffy American style ones. We use Rachel's pancake recipe at home all the time, so I was excited to test out her banana flavoured Herbalife edition.

Rachel's Recipe:
  • 125g flour
  • 1 tbsp oats
  • 1 tbsp Herbalife Nutrition F1
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
  • 150ml milk
  • A little butter for the pan
  • Blueberries/bananas/strawberries/raspberries to serve

1)    Sift the flour into a bowl, mix in the oats and the FI Banana Cream. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg, honey and milk. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, add the liquid and whisk until combined.

2)    Heat a frying pan to a medium low. use kitchen paper to dab some butter on the inside of the pan and once hot, drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan.

3)    Cook for two minutes, until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip and cook until they fell set in the centre and the bottoms are golden.

4)    Repeat with the rest of the mixture. Serve straight from the pan with slices of banana, blueberries or strawberries.

Rachel's dynamic amongst our class of eleven was amazing. She was so friendly and welcoming, and I was so glad that I could bring Molly along to meet one of her favourite chefs. It's not often that we have time to do things like this together any more, especially as we both grow older. We usually only see each other every second week, and with both of our lives being quite hectic, we don't spend a whole lot of time together. 

Sometimes it takes a good day of great food and lots of laughs with your sister to help everything fall back into place again, and after what felt like the longest week, a day of pancake making was the perfect cure! Hopefully this might inspire your next homemade brunch. I've left the recipe above, and can vouch for it being one of the easiest American style pancake recipes I've ever used. The best part is that you probably already have most of the ingredients! 

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Until next time,

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