Kate Woolley

Here's how Kate is finding the challenge

Week 6

Kate - Week 6

Toad in the Hole

Toad in the oven

Kate 6L

I’ve been very busy this weekend and didn’t get back until Sunday evening when all the shops were shut, so it’s a good thing that all the ingredients for this week’s challenge came from my store cupboard or freezer.

Kate 6P I pre-heated the oven and started to colour the sausages as advised in the recipe. I very carefully added oil to the pan to warm in the oven and stood back whilst it hissed and spat (well it said it should be hot!)

I was very restrained and didn’t even peek in the oven until the allotted 25 minutes was up. This proved to be a bit of a mistake, however, as the tray which had been on top had gone almost black!

The batter was very simple to make – whisking together eggs and flour, then gradually adding milk. I love Yorkshire pudding, as does the friend I cooked for this week, so I doubled the batter quantities, before pouring it around the sausages and putting it in the oven to work its magic.
 
As the toad in the hole cooked, I got started on the onion gravy; unfortunately the onions were particularly pungent, so my friend suggested I wear my swimming goggles to stop my eyes watering!
 
I was very restrained and didn’t even peek in the oven until the allotted 25 minutes was up. This proved to be a bit of a mistake, however, as the tray which had been on top had gone almost black! Thankfully the lower tray was cooked perfectly and there was plenty in it for all of us. Next time I will swap the trays over half way through…

 

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Plum Upside Down Cake

Kate - Week 5

Plum Upside Down Cake

Lucky it was an upside down cake! 

I was pleased to see this week’s recipe, as the plum tree in my garden has just started producing fruit and I have been wondering what to do with it. 

I started by beating together butter and sugar using my Kenwood Chef, which made short work of the task. When it came to adding the eggs and flour I couldn’t seem to find the self-raising flour anywhere and, as it was late on a Sunday evening, I had no chance of buying any. I ended up having to improvise. I found an old pot of baking powder in the cupboard and added this to plain flour to compensate. I vaguely remembered that 

baking powder gets less effective as it gets older, so I added a bit extra for luck. 

I only own one baking tin and it’s a bit bigger than 18cm, so I just had to spread the mix a little thinner. Perhaps, because it was thinner than intended or perhaps because I have a fan oven, after about 10 minutes an unfortunate burning smell started to emanate from the kitchen. I dashed in and turned it down quickly but there were a few spots on the top that looked burnt. I was just debating whether I could ice the cake, to cover the problem, when I remembered that it was an upside-down cake, so instead I simply turned it over! 

I will definitely buy self-raising flour and try to make the correct amount of mix for my tin if I try this again. But in the end, I was quite pleased with how the cake looked and tasted.

Your reviews

  1. My favourite dish so far . Even wanted seconds. Debra

    Posted: 16/08/2013 06:58:57 / Debra

  2. Not normally a fan of desserts but this cake was great. Surprisingly good for someone who before starting this competition couldn't cook. Looking forward to your next dish.

    Posted: 17/08/2013 19:54:01 / Richard Pertwee

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Week 4

Kate - Week 4

Sunblush Tomato Bread

Squidgy success

Kate 4 L

I’m cooking for a vegetarian colleague this week, so this is a perfect accompaniment to our meal, but a bit more interesting than a traditional bread roll.

Kate 4 P

I was encouraged after the (relative) success of my pizza last week. However, the last time I tried to make bread rolls they were; 1. very stodgy after having hardly risen and 2. still doughy in the middle.

The first difference from last week is that the yeast is not pre-fermented in the sugared water but added to the flour/sugar/salt combination. The recipe takes slightly longer than the pizza dough did too, as it needs to be left to rise twice. The actual hands-on time required is still small though, which I’m glad about – I’m a big fan of minimum effort, maximum results!

The mixture started to come apart a bit when I added the tomatoes and herbs, so I ended up having to squidge it back together with my hands. I managed it though, and I think in the end the effect was nicely rustic.

Now that I have successfully made bread rolls, I think I’ll make them again once I work confidence up to throw another dinner party!

They are certainly better than the part-cooked packet ones I normally pull out of the freezer!

Your reviews

  1. Yummy. ..... Better than anything I have tasted in a restaurant recently

    Posted: 16/08/2013 07:01:56 / Debra Woolley

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week 3

Kate - Week 3

Vegetarian Pizza

Pizza Doh!

Kate L

This weekend some of my housemates from university came to visit. They have born witness to many of my kitchen disasters over the years and knew me when I couldn’t even re-heat a pizza, let alone make my own dough. Needless to say I was eager to impress.

Kate PThe video tutorial was nice and clear and my yeast activated well – so far so good. The stumbling block came when I couldn’t quite work out how much water to add to the flour, however finally my dough came together in a squidgy ball on the end of the hook and I left it to rise.

Still, better soggy than singed right…?

I waited the full two hours but I didn’t really expect much to happen, so I was very excited to see the dough had almost doubled in size. Having specially bought myself a rolling pin after lacking in week one, at the crucial moment I was unable to locate it, so my friends (who had arrived by this point) and I tried swinging it like you see them doing on the TV, it’s a wonder none ended up on the floor!
 
They were all very impressed with the Kenwood Chef and what I had managed to do with it. One of them even tried it out - I decided to do a passion fruit version of last week’s Eton mess for desert, so whilst I was frying tomatoes she whipped egg whites.
 
I varied the toppings a little over my three pizzas and popped them into the oven. They looked great, though they did come out a little soggy in the middle. I asked my friends what the reason for this might be and they asked how hot my oven was – it seems I had accidentally set the oven 40 degrees too low. Oops. Still, better soggy than singed right…?

 

Your reviews

  1. Impressed that you made your own dough, i am hoping that we are treated to your new found talents at work at some point!

    Posted: 03/08/2013 22:27:47 / Adrian Staiger

  2. I have followed in your steps. Now I am ready for the deep pan and stuffed crust! When is the a-level tutorial?

    Posted: 15/08/2013 09:10:24 / Rhys Davies

  3. As one of the uni housemates who tried the pizza just wanted to say how much I enjoyed them and the passion fruit Eton mess. I was so impressed with your Chef that we have now ordered a kMix, due for delivery this week - very excited! Hope you do well in the rest of the competition, Em x

    Posted: 18/08/2013 22:13:55 / Emma Rhule

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week 2

Kate - Week 2

Eton Mess

Sweet Success of Eton Mess

Kate 1

Well, the cat is out of the bag - the whole hospital knows that I am a terrible cook. Everyone has been really supportive and enthusiastic, and inspired me to work harder to improve my cookery.

Kate 2

Thank goodness everyone is being supportive seeing as this week's challenge was Eton mess, which includes making meringues - my historical kitchen nemesis.

When I have tried to make meringues in the past, they have come out flat as a pancake. This may be because, before my Kenwood Chef Titanium came along, I didn’t own anything more than a hand whisk.

The Chef Titanium helped me make a fluffy meringue mix but my main challenge was to cook it. I propped the oven slightly with a tea towel as suggested in the recipe and monitored it closely. Even though I still managed to burn some, there were enough edible meringues.

My boyfriend has never tried Eton mess before and liked it very much. I was so pleased with my efforts that I thought I might take in some samples for the aforementioned colleagues however I got home from work and they had all mysteriously disappeared…

Your reviews

  1. At the hospital we are yet to be privvy to any of Dr Woolley's culinary delights. With the look of the Eton mess ill be looking forward to trying some soon!

    Posted: 25/07/2013 10:57:50 / Scott Mabbutt

  2. Wow Kate, . Perhaps I should invest in a Kenwood - if it helps my cooking to improve! Really enjoying following your story - looks like you will be a complete professional by the end of it - at this rate! Yum. Best wishes! Fiona Gallagher

    Posted: 26/07/2013 11:52:08 / Fiona Gallagher

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Week 1

Kate - Week 1

Spicy cheese and pepperoni slice

Making My Own Pastry

Spicy Cheese and Pepperoni Slice... it sounds tasty, however I was a little apprehensive when I discovered that this challenge involved me MAKING MY OWN PASTRY – something I have always thought was a long and drawn out process! I sometimes work nights in my job, as a junior doctor, so time is not something that I have a lot of!

Kate

Making the pastry was surprisingly straight forward – I just had to add three ingredients into my Kenwood Chef’s mixing bowl and it was ready really quickly.

 While it was resting I had time to get ready for work.
 
Rolling the pastry out proved a little more taxing. Since I don’t do this very often, I don’t own a rolling pin! Thankfully Kenwood thoughtfully provided me with a bottle of wine to accompany the slice, which doubled up as an excellent rolling pin.
 
The hardest part of the process was making sure the slices had the right amount of time in the oven – mine is notorious for burning things (or maybe that’s just me…), so I set a timer on my phone for five minutes less than the recipe said, so I couldn’t go wrong.
 
Overall, I think I did okay with my first challenge, though I did get flour all over the kitchen! The slice made a great midnight – lunch treat on my shift at the hospital. I’m looking forward to the next challenge

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Kate Woolley

Kate, 27, is a doctor and a self-diagnosed Disaster Chef, in serious need of a prescription of cooking lessons. She loves to experiment in the kitchen but unfortunately her unique flavour combinations, which include cheese and chocolate on toast, have failed to woo the crowd. Kate who lives with her boyfriend, has in the past taken inspiration from TV chefs who magically create magnificent dishes, unfortunately though, the only thing she has ever managed to create in the kitchen is a gigantic mess.

Kate’s biggest kitchen disaster involved trying to impress her partner’s family, by creating a Caiparina flavoured sorbet. After a successful dry run, Kate thought she had mastered the recipe but when it came to the moment of truth, her sorbet didn’t set, she forgot to add sugar and the end result was a sloppy bowl of semi-solid lime juice. Only one person at an entire table of 15 managed to eat it -needless to say, she wasn't invited to cook again.