Tag Archives: frilly keane

By Popular demand.

Frilly’s Cork Battenberg

So, let’s start with two simple everyday Madeira Bakes, in Loaf form, one brown one yellow.

The basic mix per sponge

240gms soft butter, 200gms caster sugar, 3 eggs, 210gms Self Raising & 90gms Plain Flour sieved and mixed together. One with 50 gms cocoa sieved in with flour, the other loaf with 45 gms Custard powder + 3 or 4 tbls milk

Grease and line a standard sized loaf tin, or a pair if you have two the same, and start heating the oven to 170°

Cream the butter and sugar until a nice soft fluffy ducky colour

Add one egg, and one third of the flour (+ cocoa) mix, blend gently, and repeat. That’s your brown sponge done.

For the yellow, proceed as above, then mix your custard powder with part of the milk, get it to a barely pouring consistency, and add to your sponge mix, while beating gently, and that’s your yellow sponge.

Bake for one hour but check at 50 and maybe 55 minutes with a skewer, if you are happy at either touch point do take them out, and remove from the tin onto a cooling tray. Let them go stone cold. If possible, leave overnight. They need to be proper Madeira firm lads.

Mallow Fluff

Do not attempt this unless you have a good reliable kitchen thermometer and a sturdy stand mixer, one that can go at full belt for at least 8 minutes without fuming. The alternatives are to melt shop bought white marshmallows, or buy it in altogether.

105gms Granulated Sugar and 170 mils of Golden syrup, or if you can get it, a light corn syrup.

If it helps, I used golden syrup only because it was already open in the press, but it does leave your ‘Mallow with a winter white complexion. If you want Cork Whiter than Daz White, then you need to use a clear light corn syrup.

Two egg whites, ¼ tsp cream of tartar
Tsp vanilla paste, ¼ tsp salt

* Into a pot over a low heat and mix to dissolve the sugar, once dissolved rack up to full heat, and have your kitchen thermometer at the ready.

Decent stirring now but do not let the syrup boil over, at 116° on the dot remove from heat immediately. (start again if you smell burn)While the sugar and syrup are heating up to dissolve, in your stand mixer, start gently whisking or beating if you like, your egg whites and cream of tartar into a light foam.

* Once your sugar syrup is at the 116° its now molten caramel, so bring it over (carefully) to your now foam’ishly egg whites, bring your mixer hup’to full speed, and slip your syrup in. Keep your mixer on full speed for 8 minutes, until its a thick white glossy fluff triumph, but importantly, at room temperature.

Tip in your vanilla paste and salt and go full speed again for about two minutes. Don’t be alarmed by the pitch black spots specked on the edge of your mixing bowl. That’s the centrifugal effect on the vanilla seeds. This is why baking is considered by many as a science – using centrifusion force to create your Battenberg is the work of champions.

Health and Safety warning, this stuff is sticky, sticky like ye’ve never made with eggs before sticky, so clean as you go with it. Have clean containers, and spatulas, and palette knives if you have them all ready. And don’t attempt to make ‘Mallow Fluff without an apron or with smallies in the vicinity.

This stuff might smell and taste lovely but has the welding power of Sudocreme and with all the allure of a marmalade made with honey and too much sugar. With sprinkles. And it goes everywhere if you let it.

Assembly

Level off your Madeira Loaves, and splice into equal halves. You should have four even layers, two of each.

Start with brown, and layer of ‘Mallow Fluff, and start to bevel the long sides. say 30° on the left and 120° on the right. I used a paring knife and had a container ready for the cut offs.

Next your yellow, start the bevelling from the finish point of the base layer, when you’re happy its even and tis starting to look like the second floor of a pyramid, slather another layer of ‘Mallow Fluff.

Repeat the above to create the brown, scrawny white, yellow, brown, scrawny white, yellow of Real Battenburg. If you have done well with the cut offs, you should be able to create another layer for the sharpish apex of your Real Battenberg.

Next…

The Chocolate external coat and render

600 gms Dark (good quality) Cooking Chocolate
125 mls Double Cream

Melt your chocolate – in a bowl over just-under-the-boil water, and make sure your bowl doesn’t touch the water. Do not use a microwave to melt your chocolate. Ever.

When its runny and smooth, just gorgeous like, whisk by hand andblend in the cream. Keep whisking, and whisk every so often, as you go along like.

Paste a thin layer all over your Real but still naked Battenburg, and let it rest for about five minutes.

Then lash the rest all over, a thick as you can. Then wait as long as you can before trowelling it all over with a fork for the Real Battenburg horizontal ridges.

Tah dah!

But wait an hour or so before cutting into it. Gather around to hear that heel hit the plate. You’ll know tis all about Cork but without the ropey version of de’ Banks.

If ye don’t mind like, since Cork people don’t like to be told what they should do, especially with Cork food, and they’d be dead right of course, but I use unsalted butter.

That ‘Mallow Fluff, there’s going to be loads left, but it should keep for a week or so in the fridge for other adventures, just make sure tis in a good, sealed container that you can trust.

You might want to just use all Self Raising in the brown Madeira element as the Cocoa does hinder the rise, but only slightly. Or you could use a half tsp of Baking Powder to help it out.

You can also just take the sponge mixture on its own like, add the zest & juice of a lemon, for an old school Madeira. But do sprinkle a good tbls of Caster Sugar, or even two, on top before going into the over for the traditional Madeira crack affect your Aunty had.

Before I leave ye to it, let me tell ye, I loved planning and putting this together, yep, tis about time too since I talked about it for ages. But less of that, and more of this, Real Battenberg is a great cake to make, but give yourself the time and the attention Real Battenberg is entitled to, whether you like cake or not.

And do you know what lads, change the colours, the flavourings, even the coatings. Shur its always going to be our Battenburg anyway, we we can do what we like with it. Hon’ Cork.

All pics by Vanessa Foran

Vanessa is a principal at Recovery Partners. Follow Vanessa on twitter @vanessanelle.

Great British Bake-Off judges last night, from left: Paul Hollywood, Pru Leith, Noel Fielding and Sandi Tovskig

The Great British Bake-off raised temperatures last night on Channel 4 with Dessert Week.

Too sweet? Not sweet enough? Or just right?

Frilly Keane writes:

Let’s talk about first impressions, and again, I’m sorry to say it was about appearances again last night. Terry’s sick note really spoilt dessert week for me ‘cause before they’d even turned on their ovens I had already predicted that no-one’ll be on the Extra Slice  this week, and that had me vaguely wishing the show along just to see if I was right.

I’m still ticked off with meself ‘cause I really wanted this FrillBake to be sum’ting nice and fulla sugary melty chocolatie Kimmy Joy. Like we haven’t bin’ getting on lately, just thought t’would be a nice reminder that there’s some really other important stuff going on besides elections, and Brexit n’ the like.

Instead I could only think about my Nana Lulus carpet (in her good room) whenever Noel appeared or wonder if The Hollywood had put on a few. At least Manon obliged by leaving the earrings at home, and the weekend in the tent became all about hair plaits. And yellow eyeshadow.

Anyway lads, do yer best to give Dessert week a guilty smile instead’ve a snort. And before we get to it, they’re turtles not trolls.

I think most home bakers have a dessert Signature that is not just a fruit tart. Ye might remember this oul’ reliable , of mine, even though I’ve been promising to try a lime curd kiwi & pineapple one since Tom Parlon was a TD.

My takeaway from last night’s Roulade challenge was Rahul’s rhubarb and custard, and my running favourite Dan got his third Hollywood handshake in a row. Which I can’t remember happening before, but he was Star Baker there and then, and probably should be given a monument inside the tent.

Sum’ting else about Dan, he uses basic everyday ingredients most of the time and he hasn’t needed chemistry, exotic teas or foodie techniques to get those handshakes.

He is the very definition of a proper family home baker, here I’d do this meself but since I’m the only one in my house that eats coconut I’d only make a pig of meself.

Also, the great thing about having Roulade as your own Signature is that it will always be what Jon called rustic looking, and icing sugar will always be your best friend, so you’re never under pressure to have it looking like it came from the Butler’s Pantry lot.

They were being a bit too fond of judging the swirl for me. Its dessert so don’t worry about the swirl, its all about the filling and having seconds; if its full spiral your after you’ll have ta’ reduce your creamy tangy good stuff.

The technical was the technical. Meh for Blancmange but if ye fancy it, Prue’s recipe is easy but loads of ingredients t’ be fecking around with, like Green Cocoa Butter. Yep. Green Cocoa Butter, for biscuits that last a second and involve eight different ingredients, and piping. But it is a good one if you’re baking as a quality time with kids thing.

Last place Manon just asked for it earlier on when she uttered she hadn’t messed up a bake so far.

Ah the Showstopper. Now a bitt’ve tale here. When they trailered it, I was heard saying sum’ting like ‘I would no more be arsed’ … like fecking around with a chocolate dome only to melt it before ya can get to your afters. But the dependent was a bit too quick with the snark herself; it must be the weather now that I think of it, at home as well as this gaff.

Anyway, I got a bitt’ve ‘you’d have to give it a go first and see can you do it before deciding you’re not being arsed’ (pronounced aursed.) Yep, getting it everywhere lately.

But wasn’t it great tho’ ? Like none of the bakers really made it look painful or too fancy with kit and techniques; a balloon was used for this. Shur’ it doesn’t matter if it melts and cracks. I’m definitely going to give one a go over the Christmas. Like for a group. Maybe the Broadsheet Christmas do, and I would probably do something like Kim Joys Turtle Astronauts …troll truffles, with bitter orange sauce.

Ah I’m only messing. I still love ye all.

Here, one thing before ye start separating yere yolks, Kim Joy was hard done by not t’get herself a Hollywood Handshake, but I reckon she’ll be there or there abouts in the last 2 weeks.

Star Baker, no need to mention. But its worth noting that three of the last four Star Bakers were lads.

Spice next week.

Yeah me neither

So hopefully I learn something new to do with my favourites, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves; and there’s a bit more to Spice than gingerbreads.

Frilly Keane can be followed on Twitter: @frillykeane

Norma Burke aka Bunty Twungtinton McFuff

Frilly Keane writes:

Also in the Dublin City Council chamber yesterday was Bunty Twungtinton McFuff You might remember Bunty was hoping to join the Gavin Duffy campaign

Rather than getting all insulted and grandly upstanding like Mannix Flynn, I suggest Councillors, all over the Country, recognise what this route to nominations has turned the Presidential Election into.

It is their oow internal Party workings and voting arrangements along with organised abstentions that drew Bunty into the Nomination process, and she should be congratulated for forcing Dublin City Council to call time on their own right to nominate rather than be considered a Fine Gael conspiracy

That on its own deserves its own place in the comedy of Áras 2018 we now have before us; out of a Chamber of 63 councillors, seven are Blueshurts.

If this County is to continue to pretend it is a Democracy, then why not vote for someone because they have the best hair?

The Local Councillors have already nominated two businessmen, with no public service record, other than one of them being a former Fianna Fáil Ministerial assistant and fundraiser, the other being a paid external consultant, alongside a Pro-Life advocate whose connection to
the Iona Institute cannot be denied.

This on its own is a blatant two-fingers to the convincing majority of these Councillors own constituents.

I’ve already said here  that Michael was no innocent bystander to this farce , so for anyone charged with deciding who gets on the ticket at all to be objecting to Bunty’s pitch yesterday would want to take a better look at themselves.

Up your Áras lads.

Frilly Keane can be followed on Twitter: @frillykeane

Earlier: ‘I Would Like To Defend The Voiceless

Clockwise from top left: Presidential hopeful Gavin Duffy campaigning at the Tullamore Show; Hosepipe bans remain in place across the country following the Summer heatwave; Pope Francis during the Papal Mass at Phoenix Park last month

Summer 2018 may be forever remembered for the heatwave, its partnering drought, its hurling championship, and as much as I love the lad, that effin’ song

But for me, I’ll be chalking it down as the daftest, clumsiest, and I’ll even throw on asinine, silly season ever. And ye all ate inta it like a rosy cheeked one-year old batin’ inta a dummy. It was choc-a-bloc with bullshit, patronage, self-interest and delusion.

We had a Head of State come over that had the City of Dublin on lock down for longer than his stopover. And this Argentinian lad isn’t even a footballer. His job title is Pope, or for the younger ‘wans @pontifex.

The biggest public park in Western Europe was corralled to mimic the Ploughing with Army, Gardai, Firemen, M*A*S*H i and eff’ knows who else dragooned into organising a religious ceremony for half a million pilgrims.

Five hundred thousand people, seriously now, did anyone really believe that was going to happen? Would even a 1/10000th of that come and wave at Merkkel or Macron.

I’m told (and my source is a well-established Crowd Control Consultant btw) that between 83-85,000 were there

He says if it was anything near the numbers quoted approximately one third of the corrals would be packed; shur’ ye can see for yourselves – less than a 6th of the capacity provided was in anyway meaningfully occupied.

As least I got a laugh from poor oul’ Mary Kennedy, I’d say the dear lovvie was disgusted that she was mistaken for Eileen Dunne, or that someone thought they let on Eileen Dunne was Mary Kennedy. C’mon. It even shook this gaff. Were RTÉ so engulfed with prayers and genuflection that they couldn’t see the funny side of that?

I have to allow for the possibility that the environment for hogwash to thrive was already sewn out there with its interest in the World Families Croke Park gig. Did anyone check how may of the performers are clients of Tyrone Productions?

Maybe that explains why RTÉ’s blanket coverage was so falsely reverential and awed, like, it was positively Forest Gump’ian at times.

But I saved the best till last. Presidential stuff.

Well I suppose tis great we have an election, and ye know I love elections. And thanks to Sinn Féin we are getting one.

Amid the usual commotion, assumptions, assertions and colourful commentary about who, how and why they do anything, no one can deny the Shinners were right to force an election. If you’re tempted; here, suck on this: Ireland shouldn’t have to pretend it’s a democracy anymore.

We have all watched Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil share, control, splice and slice all the public and political gigs between them for decades.

Each taking it in turns with such comfort and ease they don’t have to look over their shoulders anymore; and that’s because we have become so groomed by them we have accepted that structure as a behavioural norm, like its genetic in all of us.

Since I don’t doubt for a second, that Micheal D will have a grand easy run this time out, an election will at least give him a mandate.

That is important because I don’t think he should run, I think he is too old. And don’t call me ageist. I am perfectly entitled to comment on his age seeing as the Constitution firmly dictates what is too young.

The 35th Amendment was put it in front of everyone to change it and it was returned with an emphatic 73% Níl.

So much for equality when it comes to age it is then. If anyone of ye feel you still want to have a go and call me ageist, then answer this first; What would your reaction be if Mary O’Rourke sought the Presidency?

But rather than get ye all wet and bothered with that fight, let me bring ye back to the wacky races for nominations.

Three pinstripes from the telly, and yet none of them seem to be even remotely aware of the laughing stock they have launched.

Sum’ting else, it just shows how full of themselves these middling clones are by introducing themselves as TV Dragons, like none of ‘em are Billionaires, or Inventors or Creators.

One of ‘em owns and employment agency, anudder a PR firm. Ah stop. Like Gammon Duffy loves the telly so much he’s even going around the Country from Council Chamber to Council Chamber with his own camera crew.

And now the Journalist who has apparently solved the Mary Boyle Murder, the Fr Molloy Murder and the Veronica Guerin Murder is in it alongside Iona Institute Maria Steen’s Anti Joan.

This is a farce what we should be rightly ashamed of; and Micheal D made it one. He got elected on a single term platform and fabricated a bitta humming n’ hawing about running again when he faced the public, while craftily signing up supporters from the other side of his face.

Micheal D Higgins is a politician; he might deliver the speeches that the Left lick up off the ground, he might be more devout in his communist hero adulation than just the wearing of a t-shirt, and awwh de doggie bow-wows.

But believe me that man is a career long political operator and no different to any other former Labour Minister.

Has anyone stopped and actually asked why this Presidential race has produced a soap opera of slap-stick lines (looking at you Gammon) with Pro-Lifers still in a snot, and a Journalist who thinks the Áras is her Crucible?

It’s because Michael D made it one. He knew exactly how the Councils would conduct themselves with the other potential candidates which is why he cornered up supporters in the Houses of the Oireachtas long before he even gave us the courtesy of a decision.

He made sure they all had to go the Council route from a long way off.

So, it’s up to us now, the voter to decide.

Who ever makes the ballot ticket, I’ll tell ye this; no business man or woman is getting my vote. No one over the Statutory Retirement Age is getting my vote. No former Pro-Life activist is getting my vote.

And for the moment anyway; its Rock The Áras Jimmy Smyth for me. He’s the only one making any feickin sense in this place.

Frilly Keane’s column usually appears here on the first Friday of every month. Follow Frilly on Twitter: @frillykeane

Pics; Rollingnews

Star Baker Rahul (right) on last night’s Great British Bake-Off

A week after taking the biscuit

A cake-strewn Great British Bake-Off episode 2 aired on Channel 4 last night.

Frilly Keane writes:

Yes, its Cake week, which is what it’s all about, and I’m am absolutely confirmed in my opinion now that they shouldn’t have started with biscuits.

Cake is a far more relevant entry exam for Bake-Off Tenters and last night proved that beyond doubt.

Every baker, no matter how diligent or occasional they are should have a daycent traybake within their set of recipes and abilities. And if you’re like me you’ll have developed two oul’ reliables; one for the smallies and a grown-up one.

You should also have two tray options; square and rectangular, and as with all kitchen paraphernalia, tools, and appliances, always get the very best you can afford.

I’m telling ye all this ‘cause last night’s signature was a great demonstration of what the everyday baker can do very simply, and most importantly, tidily.

Traybakes don’t need trappings like sugar twirls or piped ornaments on top like you saw last night to be any less than they are.

There were loads to choose from last night; but for the grown-ups I would have to recommend Terry’s rum n’raisin, although I’d skip the candied walnuts; OK there are loads of ingredients to measure out, but most kitchen presses would have them anyway.

Briony’s Turron and Orange would make great treat-eats, but d’ya know wha’, I’d no more make marmalade than take up jogging. Also, something for my unlikely to-dos is to finalise a Lemon Meringue traybake recipe; if it ever happens ye’ll be the first t’ know.

While I’m here on traybakes, I need to disclose that I love Black Forest an’ting; but for me all that fresh cream and kirsch is wasted on a shallow tray measure; Black Forest deserves to be full-on drag, all glammed-up and never in a corner as a baby no-guilt sized portion. Nonetheless, it’s clear the two last night got away with it.

When a Le Gateau Vert was revealed as the Technical it got greeted by a garish and earthy ah’ ffs and its getting another one here now – ah’ ffs! Like why would ya be arsed? Spinach? Pistachio? Green cake?  Garish is right for it all day long.

I would stop on about it now only I think I should point out that Monet loved his grub, so I’m obliged to mention this book since Broadsheet is all about the non-fiction lately.

And that was a handy tip from Jon  about blending your butter with a dab of your cake batter before adding into the full mixture.

Jon is obviously one to watch already, and I think Bread week might be his star turn, yet I’ll remain open about them all and there’s no favourite yet for me. Although unlike the Black Forest, Anthony’s Bollywood smiles are long past their clichéd date already.

Yay! Showstopper time now. But they were far from yays last night; loads of promises alright but nothing you’d put into a shop window really.

OK none of us temper chocolate  at home, well maybe Martco does. But then he has a kitchen crew to clean up after him.

Most of us don’t do fancy stuff with chocolate or sugar because its too much cleaning up afterwards, you need specialised kit and it all tastes the same anyway.

I’d no more bother with a chocolate collar than I would iron me tea-towels. That sorta carryon is just for the telly or for places that charge eight yoyos for a slice, and a mane one at that.

One showstopper I want to mention is Luke’s Raspberry & White Chocolate. OK,  he made a hames of it and had to go, but that cake promised so much and still does as it has everything the Irish palate loves, craves, and deserves. So just for ye, I have reached out to the lad and asked him for the recipe.

Some final bites from last night;

I hope the Hollywood doesn’t get handshake regret after last night. None last week, but he lost the run of himself with cake week.

Star Baker Rahul is no doubt a serious and accomplished baker but has yet to make something I would try myself or even recommend. I’d go so far and say even now in the early days – I don’t think he’s going’ta make it into the big three.

Probably my favourite BO innuendo ever; six inches takes 45 minutes eight about an hour; not in my experience but who am I to contradict so enjoy.

And I’m loving the range of accents, but tell us, would it be a Commonwealth of accents or an Empire d’ye think?

Next week for the rising and somehow, maybe tis just me and that chintzy ‘tash, but I don’t think Terry is cut out for it all.

In the meantime, for convenience and t’ keep things more orderly @bakesheet is now set up on the twitter so tag on.

Frilly Keane can be followed on Twitter: @frillykeane

Pic: Channel 4

Tyrone-born Imelda on last night’s ‘Great British Bake-Off’

The Great British Bake-off returned on Channel 4 last night.

Watched by a happy, if crumb-laden, Frilly Keane

Frilly writes:

Talk about shifting it up, Biscuit week trading places with Cake week! I think I would have coped better if they redecorated the tent.

Admittedly I did have an uncomfortable inkling on Monday when I retweeted Bake Off’s official little vid for shortbreads and wondered weakly why t’wasn’t a cake recipe when I did the 1 sleep to go thing.

As with other years, I purposefully do not follow all the online chatter about Bake Off, simply because I prefer to go into each heat completely ignorant and open minded, and will continue that same policy this year. I only  follow the Hollywood @judgebakeoff as a vocational obligation, and now in recent weeks @BritishBakeOff; and I will endeavour to keep it at just that.

So, week 1, Bikkies. Firstly, the opening Bake to the Future didn’t work for me and I hope we’re spared these uncomplimentary intros over the next 9 weeks, but I doubt it; there I’ve said it.
Secondly, remind yourselves of my view on Biscuits.

I do think doing Biscuits on week 1 was unfair and it should have been cake; if they really wanted to shuffle the formula a bit, maybe put Bread week ahead of Cake. They are the main occupation of the home baker and that’s what we should have been allowed  to consider from all 12.

The Technicals in particular, have always introduced something we, the home baker, have either not known of or even considered attempting; so last night;s Wagon Wheels, was a great opportunity to try something we’ve only ever shop bought and try and make it smart and artisan.

OK it’s not for a beginner, but Biscuits aren’t anyway, so if you’re nervous use Stacy’s fluff recipe  from last year’s Bikkie week.

One more bites from the bakes last night; boiled & shifted egg yolk in shortbread? Yep, I’ll give that a go meself so thank you Briony .

So, what of the contestants;  There’s France-born Manon . She’d been on a cooking show before. I never saw it, I never heard of it, so I’m comfortable saying she’s one to watch.

Ruby  was trying too much to be a character but isn’t irritating; Yet. And isn’t it great to have a flake back in the tent?  I also think Kim-Joy is one to watch.

I’m currently predicting another Win for the Girls; although Tyrone girl Imelda had to go last night. (Might be a sign of things to come in Croke Park there, Shayna?)

Overall, I think we’re in for a great season, although I’m very unsure about Vegan Week. Yep it’s a thing. No Handshakes, but I definitely got a sense that this year The Hollywood appears to have got attached to all the bakers.

I just wish Pru would shurr’up about calories tho’.

Frilly Keane can be followed on Twitter: @frillykeane

Monday: And We’re Bake

Pic: Channel4

Meanwhile…

Tasty, in fairness.

The Great British Bake-Off returns tonight TOMORROW on Channel 4 at 8pm.

This can mean only one thing.

Frilly Keane has got her ‘pinny’ on.

Frilly writes:

8pm Tomorrow we’ll be tuning inta the tent to try and suss out 12 new bakers  . Hardly a spoiler but you can expect the same gender break-out as before; 6 boys 6 girls competing and watching their ovens, 1 male judge, 1 female judge, 1 female presenter and Noel Fielding.

I’m hardly alone in noticing the lead up this year has been very quiet and steady, but I suppose that was to be expected since Bake Off in now in its second term with Channel 4 and any anxiety or doubts were all settled, and sugar dusted last season, and the only fluctuation with presenters and judges to fret about might be Noel’s latest girth; I suspect he enjoyed the filming a bit too much.

But shur’ that could happen to the best ov’us.

Any noise out there ahead of this season tended to circulate around the bakers, and there being some chatter about the producers going old school with a number of this year’s shortlist not having any Social Media profile ahead of entering the tent tonight; this was a criticism in previously with Selasi and his already established insta carryon being a particular target of the soggy bottom conspiracy tins.

Not for me since I don’t follow him, and he was one of my favourite bakers in the tent. OK he was never going to be a winner, but he was great telly; and he is the one baker I’d love to see back in the mixer with Sandi and Noel.

Something also for this season that is Social Media related, the personal accounts have been handed over to the producers’ PR people to run for the duration so they can ‘leakproof’ the tent; although I don’t believe that could ever be possible.

One thing that did stand out, to me anyway, in the ramp-ups over August is that the producers were particularly emphatic about the rules; no baker must have a formal confectionary qualification or training awarded within the last 10 years.

And no baker can have earned most of their income from baking. That tells me that they must have taken a bitta’ve stick over Steven and personally I’m glad they did, because this is all about what we can do from our own kitchens.

That last bit it worth mentioning as there are a few contestants you’ll meet tonight who are stay-at-homes; and in equal quota split, one boy one girl.

One thing I’ll comment on as a Bake-Offender since season 1, the cloning from season 2 onwards has been immaculate; Signatures, Technicals and Showstoppers remain untouched, and the old reliables are still there, Cake week, Biscuit week, Bread week etc. While the unimpeachable

Judging has persisted; it remains all about the bake, save for the odd week of dissent with the Hollywood, but shur’ that’s what we’re here for.

So as with every other season, the benchmarks remain intact. Bread Week is the marquee event and the [Paul] Hollywood handshake will still be the central tent pole.

In the meantime here’s some handy tips for some of us, and lingo translators for the rest ah’ ye.

Before I go and set the timer on the telly; a Tyrone girl, not Shayna, will be among, the bakers tomorrow, and watch out for the fussy ‘tash.

Your time starts now; BAKE!

Frilly Keane can be followed on Twitter: @frillykeane

Pic: Channel4

Frilly Keane writes:

For years I’d heard of a thing called the 4th Estate, usually on the telly and in fillums like, where its mention would be treated like it was a sacred place, and only occupied by greats and gods with things like Peabody and Pulitzer in their bios.

The special people that get books written about them and Hollywood greenlights over their biopics. People who we know immediately just by their surnames; Amanpour, Adie, Bernstein, Cronkite, Fisk, Guerin, Murrow, Pilger, Woodward, and whatever ye’re having yerselves – see that? in abc order. Here’s anudder one; The Post.

This 4th Estate sort’a intrigued me in a vague way but lately it got a bit under my skin because of this latest module in the Disclosures Tribunal

Anyway, during the hot spell there, while trying to look busy when I was dossing off, I started googling scantily on the phone.

And as it turns out this 4th Estate is quite interesting, historically I mean, in that it has a bitta’ve tale to tell for itself.

European, naturally, in origin, and grew as a spur off a set up titled “Estates of the Realm”; basically, a caste system for Western Europe. Church, Royalty and the likes of meself, the Commoners. Them and Us.

And to keep everyone in their rightful Realm, lawyers were needed, so along came the 3rd Estate to facilitate the independent liaison between us and them. Naturally Lawyers need money and we know how that goes, and it was the same in Medieval times as it is today.

So along comes Edmund Burke, who during a debate (1787) about opening the Commons to the newspapers and journals of the day, addressed the new arrivals to the viewing galleries as the 4th Estate.

A hundred years later, pretty much, that Burke 4th Estate was now firmly rooted as the Realm of Journalists. This is proofed when the great observer himself, Oscar Wilde, stamped their permanent occupation of the 4th Estate with;

“But at the present moment it is the only estate. It has eaten up the other three. The Lords Temporal say nothing, the Lords Spiritual have nothing to say, and the House of Commons has nothing to say and says it. We are dominated by Journalism.”

One of our own said that 127 years ago. And instead of Us, the Commoners, it was the other two realms, Church and by now Big Business, Money and Power lured the 4th and bought them, bribed them, pampered them and fattened them.

So here we all are now, along with Broadsheet, discovering, planting and growing, what has easily become the 5th Estate. But here everyone can walk talk, or not, with the same swagger and access as anyone else who holds membership of another realm.

Here in the 5th the realms are one and the same; the older realms and their acquisition, the 4th, can be identified by their behaviour since this is the open ground and there is nowhere to hide. We are all occupants, blue tick or not, of this feral yet democratic open free-for-all 5th Estate.

It is the survival of the fittest, yet the minority and weaker get to leave their prints and say we were here and this was our story.

Here We are not polarised by the other Realms, because the internet cannot isolate itself into any corner, singular side or argument. Here, although the other Realms and particularly the former Grand 4th Estate will still try and choose our facts for Us, it is here in this 5th Estate, that

We, the forgotten realm of commoners get to choose the facts we believe. Here We get to decide what news we believe. It is here that our decisions will now be take place and our opinions formed.

The most vulnerable thing in Ireland now is our democracy. That is not an overstatement or a wild call-to-arms.

Nothing is more important to us Citizens, yeah, Citizens. Citizens Vote, customers take surveys and give feedback, so that’s that one out of the way, but why the fúck anyone needed reminding I’ll put down to the heat.

I’ve said here again and again , yet ye still wait to hear it from a mainstream veering or need to see the limps from mainstream tagging in. Giving out the wrong information, or even none at all, does not allow the Irish Citizen to make good decisions about its future.

In that 127 years since Wilde declared We are dominated by Journalism, that Blind Eye, that Bias, that Special Interests and their Influence, have put Kerry Babies, Mother and Baby Homes, Institutional Abuse, Institutional Failures, Endemic Corruption, Bail-Outs and Gombeenism into our History and National Profile.

And the bodies left in the carnage are not just in septic tanks waiting for Us to demand the truth and remedy the failures. We still do not own the majority of our schools or our Hospitals ffs.

The former 4th Estate needs to allow itself be burned into ruins so that it can only be re-built from new foundations.

To protect its Independence into the future and keep it free from Influence it needs to establish walls and safeguards so deep that it can never be bought and compromised again, and like here in the 5th, only the fittest will be allowed survive there.  It needs to prove itself.

It needs to reclaim the vocation of Journalism, while the other Realms, including the 5th btw, need to let it rebuild and repent. We need to let it make good. Let them prove they have replaced smear campaigns and self Interest by giving us all the facts.

Let the 4th Estate come back and prove they are capable of being that intermediary between the realms.

There is nothing more important to our Country than a well-informed Citizen. So let’s future proof the gaff.

Frilly Keane’s column usually appears here on the first Friday of every month. Follow Frilly on Twitter: @frillykeane

Celebrations in Dublin Castle during the Eighth Amendment referendum count last Saturday

Frilly Keane writes:

I’m not going to go back over last weekend, or the campaign so stay where ya’are. But what I do want to revisit is us, The Everyday People.

You know a Republic is not just a form of government; the word itself, Republic, originates from sum’ting ancient, and probably obsolete, but it makes more sense to me because I can so easily identify with it in a way I can’t with Government. Try this one on; Republic = a Group with a common equality among its members.

I was there on Saturday. I wasn’t crying or cheering or leaping about or climbing onta anyone’s shoulders; nor was I doing any grand “I told ya so” jigs. I didn’t even get pissed. I think I clapped alright.

While I was hashtagging Independence Day all through Saturday night, it is only now in the last few days, in the light of the pro-life reactions and responses, that I realised what we, The Everyday People actually did last Friday.

On Friday last, We the Everyday People formed our own Republic.

Leo called May 25  “a quiet Revolution” while an Anon from the other side said it was  “A Tragedy of Historic Proportions.” (source: RTÉs Joe Little btw.) There was nothing quiet or tragic about it.

The only tragedy I’m prepared to recognise is that all those girls and their babies, from Tuam to Bessborough, from laundries to illegal adoptions, were just born too soon. Ann Lovett was born too soon. Savita got pregnant too soon.

They all never got to live in or witness our Republic. And while I’m here, let’s stop being polite about illegal adoptions, Magdalene Laundries and institutional abuse and neglect. Call it all out for what it all is: white slavery, human trafficking, neglect, abuse, epidemic paedophilia, mass manslaughter, dumping of bodies, and decades of deception, fraud and evasion.

How can any already-named institution or religious order claim charitable status if fraud, evasion and practices that now qualify as money laundering was pervasive policy and widely practiced?

They exploited vulnerable women, who they bullied and terrorised with false threats of eternal damnation and the like, took their babies, those that survived were sold and those that didn’t were dumped like fish bones.

They spread fear and turned a profit on it while growing and strengthening their grip on this Country. I remember bits from primary school Catechism; and something about God-giving Adam free will, and he used it. No-one questions his right to choose.

The outcome of last Friday should not just be a busy Summer for our TDs and the legislation that we’ve waited 50 years for; and while Mary Lou might have hung on to the ‘North Next’ placards, let’s just call it as it is for starters; Mary Lou is the Leader of our new Republic, but ‘North Next’ will have ta’ wait a bit or at least share the top-table.

Let’s get another referendum tabled; The 36th Amendment; Remove Article 44.01 (the one that mentions homage and God almighty.) While not a Constitutional expert, or even a mere legal know-it-all, I’m prepared to say that the preamble, which opens the Irish Constitution can just be deleted before the OPW knock-off for the silly season.

It opens with the following:

In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred,

We, the people of Éire, humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial ….

But first things first; lets revisit this again too Tell me, anyone, why can’t this be done next week under daily Standing Orders of the House, or sum’ting like that?

Here’s the thing, if we want to keep ownership of our new-born Republic, we need to firmly prove to those that called Yes voters sinners in need of a good absolution, that May 25, 2018, Independence Day, was no one-off, and that we, the Everyday People are going nowhere.

Tiocfidh has well and firmly Tháinig’ed

Frilly Keane’s column usually appears here on the first Friday of every month. Follow Frilly on Twitter: @frillykeane

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