Sunday, 5 January 2014

Kitchen Gadget 4. Hand Blender

Happy New Year! I hope you all had fun, relaxing Christmases and ate lots of good food. I know we certainly did. We also put our heads together over the break to come up with a few challenges and series for the blog this year, but we'll be sharing those with you as we go along. For now we're diving straight into 2014 with the next in our series of Kitchen Gadgets.

This month we're taking a little look at our hand blender. This is a gadget that has survived since Joe's days as a student. You'd think that by now we'd have bigger better gadgets for any jobs this might do, but the truth is that it's small, nimble and easy to wash up and that means that it still gets regular use.

It's useful for blending soups without taking them out of the pan they're cooking in and blitzing stale bread into breadcrumbs, but mostly we use it for whizzing up a batter. Be it for pancakes or Yorkshire Puddings this little stick is just really handy!

Toad "in" the Hole
Serves 2 hungry people.

A twist on a classic, we prefer our yorkshires crispy so tend to cook the Toad and the Hole separately. We make no claims that we're the expert on this, but the Yorkshire Puddings seem to come out consistently well risen so we thought we'd share our recipe, which has been cobbled together over the years from a few different places.

For the Yorkshires:
110g plain flour
200ml milk
2 eggs
Pinch salt
Mixed herbs

Sausages for two.
Vegetables of your choice. We roasted some potatoes, sweet potato and carrots to go with our Toad.

Preheat the oven to 220C.

1. Measure out all the ingredients for the Yorkshire Puddings into a pot and blend until well combined. Leave to sit for a few minutes.

2. Put a few ml of cooking oil into each dimple of a deep muffin tin, this should be just enough to cover the bottom of each dimple.

3. Put the sausages and the oiled tray into the preheated oven.

4. After 5 mins the oil should be hot enough for the batter. The trick to Yorkshire Puddings is to get the batter into hot fat and the whole lot back into the oven quickly.

Pull the tray out of the oven and sit it on the open oven door to try and retain the heat. Pour the batter into each dimple until it is 2/3 full. This mixture makes 9-10 puddings in our tin. You'll know this is going well when you hear a hot sizzling sound as the batter hits the oil.

5. Quickly return the tray to the hot oven. Bake the sausages and the Yorkshire Puddings for about 20 mins or until the Yorkshires are well risen and golden brown. Try to resist the urge to open the oven to check on them for at least the first 10 mins!

6. Once cooked serve with gravy and your vegetable of choice. Enjoy.


  1. We're a Yorkshire family so we have Yorkshire puddings with lots of different meals. No hand blender here though, it's whisked by hand (if I can be bothered to make from scratch, otherwise it's Aunt Bessie's. Naughty me!).

    1. Whisked by hand?! That is dedication to the cause.

  2. I had one of those gadgets gifted to me many years ago and loved it. When it broke I was heartbroken and in shock when I saw how much it would cost me to replace it.

    1. I fear we will discover the same one day, but hopefully ours has a few years life in it yet.

  3. I've never used mine for yorkshire puddings I've always whisked by hand. I do use it to whisk porridge, banana & dried fruits for a breakfast drink. It breaks everything down nicely. I had never thought to do the sausage & batter separate. My Toad in the hole sometimes comes out too soggy for my liking, I will do them separate next time I cook it though.

    1. The breakfast sounds good. I'd recommend trying the blender for yorkshires, it has to be easier than whisking by hand I'd have thought!

  4. They look wonderful. I've never actually made my own so may give it a

    1. Definitely give it a try. As with most things, freshly made and straight from the oven wins!

  5. Used this recipe to make yorks hires to go with my roast today. Turns out my blender is just too big to sit flat in the bottom of my jug, so I had to make it again after the blender fell over and threw the batter across the kitchen . . . Second batch was yummy though!

    1. Oh dear. I'm glad the second batch worked out okay, and now you know!


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