Tristan Kirk

Here's how Tristan is finding the challenge

Smoked Salmon and Chives Puffs

Tristan - Week 12

Smoked Salmon and Chives Puffs

Week 12 - Smoked Salmon and Chive Puffs

Tristan 12L

This was it then, week 12, the final week of training. Not only is it the end of a really educational, enjoyable and worthy journey, but also the beginning of a new, more confident and way more useful version of myself in the kitchen (nobody expected that!)

Tristan 12p

I have proved to myself now that I can do it and I look forward to continuing to use the Kenwood and all of its ingenious attachments to create more incredible food. Thanks Kenwood Disaster Chef team, it’s been amazing!

This last week sums up what a difference the Kenwood Disaster Chef competition has made to me and the family. Before the competition, I would hardly ever venture into the kitchen because, when I did, it would take me most of the day to produce things like frozen Yorkshires filled with instant noodles (which, understandably, nobody would really want to eat!)

However, this last week’s challenge, which was ‘Smoked Salmon and Chive Puffs’, went so smoothly that the bumbling Neanderthal I used to be has proven to be long forgotten!

I started by pre-heating the oven to 200c and then cracked on with making my choux paste by putting the butter in cold water and gently bringing it to the boil, then adding the plain flour, stirring it from wall paper paste to a sticky substance that comes away from the sides. Then it was time to plop it into the Kenwood Chef and use the K Beater attachment to give it a mix for a minute before adding the four eggs, one at a time, and mixing them well.

I resorted to using a freezer bag as my piping bag (rather than borrowing my mum’s antique piping bag again). I piped out 3cm round dollops of the choux paste onto my grease proof paper and whacked it into the oven for 15 minutes. Whilst my choux pastry was puffing up and turning golden in the oven, I put the smoked salmon, cream cheese, horseradish, lemon juice and salt and pepper into the Kenwood’s food processor attachment. I then blitzed it until it was smooth and, as with everything I have done using the Kenwood, it was effortless and bizarrely satisfying.

When my profiteroles had come out of the oven and cooled down, it was time to make a little hole in the bottom of each one and pipe in some of this lovely mixture. A quick brush with some rapeseed oil and a sprinkle of chives over the top and my smoked salmon and chive puffs were done. It really took no time at all, I left no mess and this latest creation tasted absolutely delicious. My Mum and Dad loved them, as did Helen, and we all took full advantage of the fact they needed eating quite quickly after making them!

So, I am pleased to announce that my final week was a success. Whether the pressure of cooking for professionals in the final will send me regressing back to my old ways, only time will tell. But either way I have proved to myself that I can do it and I look forward to continuing to use the Kenwood and all of its ingenious attachments to create more incredible food. Thanks Kenwood Disaster Chef team, it’s been amazing!

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Chocolate Eclairs

Tristan - Week 11

Chocolate Eclairs

Sweet things

Tristan 11L

I love sweet things; I really do have a sweet tooth. So being able to make my own choux pastry / chocolate éclairs was a challenge I was really looking forward to. The lead up to this week was made up of people telling me how technical it all is and how precision would be key. Seems they were all correct!

Tristan 11 P

They looked good and tasted even better. That is if you like dark chocolate, which unfortunately my taste testers didn't. All the more for me then YUM!

The strangest thing I have ever seen was when I put the butter into a pan of boiling water, in my mind that was a crazy thing to do and I expected a result similar to the one I witnessed when my mate Rob put a pan of boiling fat under a tap in a communal kitchen whilst travelling and had dozens of people running for cover as the two don't best mix. However, to my surprise it was all good, once boiling, I took it off the heat and whisked in the flour until I had a mixture that was nicely combined, I then dumped it into the Kenwood Chef and with the K mixer attachment I added four medium eggs, one at a time, until they were all mixed in and glossy. So then it was time to put it into my piping bag. I had mentioned to my Mum I needed a piping bag and she said I could borrow her piping bag, which was very kind but the piping bag I was presented with definitely pre-dated my birth! Still it was a piping bag, how hard could it be? I soon realised the end of the bag was open so I used an oversized paper clip to stop my choux paste from going straight through, then the moment of truth and I was piping fingers onto the grease proof paper, I also did some round ones. I whacked the fingers into the oven pre heated to 200c for 15 minutes.

Whilst this was going on I separated seven eggs and whisked them up in the mixer with 75g of caster sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract, I then added corn flour and plain flour. Once this was combined I added 500ml of boiled milk slowly to the mixture and whisked it up some more. Then it was time to put it back into the pan and bring it back up to the boil until it thickened, which it did and I put it in the fridge to cool.

My trusty father in law, John, came up trumps again with a punnet of home-grown raspberries and I blitzed a handful of these and stirred them into my cooled-off pastry cream. Obviously this made it all pink and looked lovely.

I took my éclairs out of the oven to cool. This was a slight disaster, as despite setting the timer it was undoubtedly too early. The lovely éclairs deflated like a really old balloon, nightmare! Thankfully, I had done two lots and I left the second lot in longer. Boom, they came out inflated and stayed inflated. They cooled and I sliced them open and piped in my lovely pink raspberry pastry cream generously. I melted some dark chocolate in the microwave and put it on top of my éclairs. When this had set I added a couple of raspberries and they were done. They looked good and tasted even better. That is if you like dark chocolate, which unfortunately my taste testers didn't. All the more for me then YUM!

Your reviews

  1. I haven't tried making choux pastry for 30 years, but you have made me want to try again. It will be milk chocolate though!

    Posted: 09/10/2013 17:22:56 / Nicky Davies

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Chicken and Mushroom Cannelloni

Tristan - Week 10

Chicken and Mushroom Cannelloni

Cannelloni

Tristan 10L

Well, not my favourite week this week. The final is looming and I am thinking I need to do well every week now. Unfortunately, I managed to fracture a couple of bones in my right hand and this is causing me a bit of pain. It is obviously impossible not to use your right hand for, well, everything! So this week’s challenge was always going to be tricky at best.

Tristant 10P

Slicing the shallots and dicing the mushrooms was no problem as, using my Kenwood attachments, it couldn't have been easier.

 I left myself a bit of time on Saturday so that I could do the Chicken and Mushroom Cannelloni for Helen's tea. It eventually, however, turned into Helen's supper! I started by immediately panicking that there was no tutorial video, then I got a grip and realised the pasta making part was similar to the week before. So I quickly made my pasta by mixing the flour, eggs and olive oil in the Kenwood Chef using the Dough Hook, which is a very simple and consistently good operation. I then wrapped it up in cling film and stuck it in the fridge to rest. Slicing the shallots and dicing the mushrooms was no problem as, using my Kenwood attachments, it couldn't have been easier. Up to this point I was well on track to have everything done for tea.

However, I lost so much time on dealing with the chicken it was ridiculous! Trying to get thigh meat off a chicken bone using a blunt knife and with your best hand broken is not a quick affair. In fact, it was nothing short of pathetic. In the end I used some scissors and my fingers and, as I was trying to get the sinew out, my hand was killing me. I didn't really know what I was doing, in the end I probably wasted quite a lot of chicken, but I was just relieved to have gotten through it. It was around this time that Helen arrived home with the children and realised tea was going to be very late!

Still, I pushed on and fried the mushrooms, shallots, chicken and garlic in a pan until it was all cooked, then put it into a bowl and stirred it around with some chopped parsley. I then made the béchamel sauce which, having done a few times before now, I found – dare I say it – easy! The pasta dough was now so well rested it probably thought I had forgotten about it! I attached the pasta roller to the Kenwood, pulled the dough into two halves and put them through to create 2 long sheets about 10cm wide. I then chopped them so that I ended up with 6 sheets 10cm x 15cm, before spooning the chicken and mushrooms through the middle of the sheets long ways and rolling them up. After that, I placed them in an oven baking dish and poured over my white sauce.

I whizzed up some bread crumbs by putting some stale bread into the food processor attachment on the Kenwood and sprinkled them over the top of the Cannelloni with some grated cheese. Then it was time to bake it in the oven for 20 minutes. Unfortunately, the excessive time I spent messing around with the chicken meant that by the time it was done the children had gone to bed and poor Helen was very hungry. However, I was pleased with the result overall.

OK, so when you are as hungry as we were by the time we got to eat it anything would've tasted good and if I were to criticise, the pasta was a bit thicker than maybe it should have been. It was mainly only down to the broken hand and the raw chicken which I had never dealt with before that the timing went so out of the window. I am pleased I managed to create another edible meal and as always using the Kenwood was definitely the highlight. I am just hoping dealing with raw chicken is not part of the final! Not long to go now, Gulp!

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Fresh Tomato and basil pappardelle

Tristan - Week 9

Fresh Tomato and basil pappardelle

This week’s challenge has probably been my favourite.

A new attachment for the Kenwood Titanium in the shape of the pasta maker had some of my friends very jealous. It is great, so they have every right to be jealous. My main concern this week was that despite speaking to lots of my friends none of them had actually made their own pasta before from scratch. So with the usual extreme concentration, I began.

Firstly weighing out all of the ingredients I combined the 270g of plain flour, 3 eggs, oil and a pinch of salt in the Kenwood mixer using the dough hook. It soon became a smooth dough and I wrapped it in cling film and put it in the fridge to rest.

Whilst that was resting I peeled and diced the onions and sweated them in the pan. I am still not very proficient with a knife so my onion was slightly chunkier than the example on the video tutorial, but thankfully it didn't seem to matter. I splashed in the wine and the garlic after a time and reduced it and then added my own home-grown tomatoes (plants supplied by my father-in-law John Rochford). 

Whilst they were doing their thing in the pan, I took out the dough and excitedly assembled the pasta maker on to the end of the mixer. It looked awesome (to someone that likes gadgets) and was amazingly easy to use. Passing the dough through the pasta machine 8 times, making the gap smaller each time I quickly ended up with long flat pasta which I floured, folded back on itself and chopped into 2cm-wide sections as instructed. I hung mine over the oven door handle as was on the video tutorial, but my oven is clearly closer to the floor than the one in the tutorial and therefore the pasta was touching the ground for a time until I realised and sorted this out. I left it to rest for a short time and then boiled a pan of salt water.

So, the moment of truth, I did nearly have a disaster when I misheard and thought I was boiling the pasta for 10 minutes but what was actually said was 2 minutes. It did take me 4 minutes before I had replayed that part of the tutorial and thankfully I got away with it, just!

I got the cooked pasta out of the pan and drained it. Whilst that was happening I squashed down the tomatoes and gave the sauce a final toss and added the fresh basil leaves. So serving up the pasta onto a plate and spooning on the sauce it looked fantastic.

My wife Helen had seconds which was a good enough praise for me, thank you very much!!! 9 weeks ago I would've never thought that Helen would have eaten seconds of anything I had made. In fact, even ‘firsts’ was rare.

I will definitely be using this skill again. Homemade pasta is the way forward!!!

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Savoury Pancakes

Tristan - Week 8

Savoury Pancakes

Flippin Pancakes! 

In all honesty this week was nearly a disaster, after I misread the recipe and almost fried the filling and just poured the pancake mixture over the lot in the pan. I'm not exactly sure what would've happened had I done that but thankfully I re-read the recipe and averted disaster. 

The reality is this week has been, dare I say it, another huge success. Having weighed up all the ingredients, I started on making the cheese sauce. Getting the hang of patiently stirring and adding flour to melting butter and then adding the milk a bit at the time has not come easily to me, as in everyday life, everything is a rush. But it’s worth taking a bit of time making the sauce and when it was time to add the cheese it looked and tasted great. 

I prepared the pancake mixture in the Kenwood Chef using the whisk attachment. It easily whisked together the wholemeal flour, salt, egg and milk into a nice smooth batter. I then chopped the chorizo sausage, black olives, sun blushed tomatoes and spring onions. I added a knob of butter into my frying pan and it was time to ladle some of the pancake batter into the pan. 

I am sad to say that I had never successfully flipped a pancake before and today was no exception, but with a bit of help with my fingers I got them flipped over. Before long I was putting a line of filling through the middle of the pancake, with some of the cheese sauce, rolling it up and pouring a zig zag of sauce over the top. A sprig of parsley on the top and it was looking fab.  

So the taste test with the children could not have gone better and Elliott could not believe he'd eaten something with olive and spring onions in it. But the biggest compliment came from Melvin Prior, the radio Lincolnshire DJ, who interviewed me on Monday about my Disaster Chef experience.
Before I had started on this amazing Kenwood journey I had taken a sample of my cooking into radio Lincolnshire for them to try, it was disgusting. 

Today Melvin Prior loved the pancake so much he ate half of it on air and then got his producer to get him another plate so that he could finish it off air. It is all down to the Kenwood Chef, no doubt, I love it! 

Your reviews

  1. Good luck Tristan, your dishes look lovely

    Posted: 13/09/2013 14:33:41 / anneliese hickman

  2. Looks great Tris. Heard the interview with Melvyn and yes he certainly did enjoy it, you can't fake that reaction of surprise. Well done on getting through to the last 6.

    Posted: 14/09/2013 12:51:20 / Michael Taylor

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Leek and Mushroom pie

Tristan - Week 7

Leek and Mushroom pie

“Proper multi-tasking stylie”

tristan 7l

I still can't believe I am through to the final six. It looked to me like everybody had improved immensely, so to be here is amazing and a bit scary, as I know that in a few weeks time I will need to cook in front of professionals!!!

tristan 7p

Overall I am well chuffed to have made my first edible pie.... ever!

Now onto the Leek and Mushroom Pie… I had never made a sauce before, in fact, I had never even heated up a shop-bought one before! But here I am melting butter and adding flour and then the milk, whilst the oven was pre-heating, proper multi-tasking stylie. It all went well. Then onto my favourite bit, playing with my Kenwood Chef. The food processor attachment clicked into place easily and I chose the right slicing blade. The leeks I had to chop were quite big but the Kenwood made such light work of it, I was genuinely amazed. The mushrooms also went through with ease, fantastic. I then fried them as instructed and added them to my sauce.

I managed to find a deep pie dish, which was possibly too deep in the end! I dumped the mixture into the pie dish and stretched the pastry lid over the top. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough mixture to fill the pie dish, so the pastry lid started to dip in the middle. I brushed the lid with egg and then got carried away by trying to letter the word "Kenwood" with bits of pastry across the top. Which made the middle dip even further and then when I brushed my lettering, a pool of egg wash gathered in the dip. Still, it was time to whack it into the oven and keep my fingers crossed.

Taking no notice of what time I had put the pie in the oven, I then had another Sunday of spending quite a long time staring into the oven. My own fault, I will learn to put the timer on one day! After an unknown amount of time the pie was looking great, the family had returned and the kids were excited that it was a Kenwood tasting day again. That was until they spotted the vegetables, so this week their opinion really doesn't count! However my wife Helen, Mum, Dad and Grandma (91 today Happy Birthday x) all agreed that it tasted fantastic. OK, so the lettering didn't quite cut it but overall I am well chuffed to have made my first edible pie.... ever! (I have just been informed the extra deep pie dish I used was actually a casserole dish, that explains it!!)

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Week 6

Tristan - Week 6

Toad in the Hole

Toad in the Hole

Tristan L

I can't believe it’s week six of the Kenwood Disaster Chef competition already. It really has flown by and I have loved every minute of the roller coaster ride, from the highs of the bread rolls and the upside down cake to the lows of the cheese slice and the fab looking, but bland tasting, pizza.

Tristant P

I carefully made the batter in the Kenwood Chef Titanium - it still amazes me how easy it makes everything.

So onto the Toad in the Hole. I love sausages and, realistically, I know cooking a sausage should not be a high pressure job, but to me sausages are dangerous! Undercook a sausage and it is nothing short of poison. So the concentration levels were to be tested this week.

I followed the instructions to the letter. While partly cooking my sausages I carefully made the batter in the Kenwood Chef Titanium - it still amazes me how easy it makes everything. Once the batter was made I poured it over the hot oil and sausages. It smelt great and I was feeling confident. The fact I was not allowed to open the oven at all during the cooking process was a bit frightening as I could not really see what was going on in there, but it did smell good, so I was happy.

I made my gravy with the red wine and fried onions and by this time everybody in the house was keen to eat, as the whole house smelt great. I cooked the peas with some butter on top; everything was getting done and it was crunch time. My Nan, god bless her, used to make the most fabulous Yorkshire pudding in a similar sized tin (without the sausages) but by hand and without measuring anything out, so I was hoping my batter was going to be along the same lines. To my amazement, when it was time to open the oven door what greeted me was exactly what I had hoped for. I proudly dished up what, for the first time in my life, was an entire meal from scratch - and all of it edible! It was great, I got more than a thumbs up all round… it was emotional!

I really hope my disaster chef experience does not come to an end this week as I am finding the entire experience life changing and rewarding. It has been the best thing I have done. I do feel I can now say I did learn to cook before I was 40 (which is this Thursday 22nd August) although only just! Cooking rocks!  
 

Your reviews

  1. You definitely deserve to get through Tris if only on the success of that Toad In The Hole. Looks great. Best of Luck and Happy 40th

    Posted: 22/08/2013 20:06:13 / Mik Taylor

  2. Well done Tristan! It sounds like you are having such an incredible experience. Keep it up!!! The toad in the hole sounds delicious I might have to try and make some for tea now too!!!

    Posted: 23/08/2013 11:57:25 / Hilary Rose

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Plum Upside Down Cake

Tristan - Week 5

Plum Upside Down Cake

My cake success that really impressed

So this week’s challenge was Plum Upside Down Cake. Being a cake fan, I really wanted to get this right. It looked straight forward enough on paper and there weren’t too many ingredients. So I got on and weighed everything out. After a couple of late nights this weekend, concentration was not at an all-time high but this recipe was so simple and my Kenwood Chef was brilliant, so I got away with it. 

With the oven pre-heating, I mixed the cake mixture and quartered the plums – I didn’t even lose a finger in the process! I lined my cake tin with greaseproof paper and started assembling my cake, as instructed by the online tutorial. The plums went into the cake tin and then I put the cake mixture all over the top and smoothed it down. It looked right and I put it in the oven. I always get a bit nervous over oven temperature, as we have a fan oven and it cooks things quickly. Well, normally it cooks things quickly! On this occasion, it did the opposite. This is an unexplained Disaster Chef phenomenon, but after the required 30 minutes my cake was still wobbling like jelly. 

I poked a knife into it at this point and unsurprisingly when I pulled it out it was neither clean nor hot. So back into the oven it went and there it stayed for another 30 minutes. This time the knife came out clean and hot, perfect.

Turning the upside down cake out was a bit disappointing, as it did not look overly pretty, possibly because the plums had stewed after an hour’s cooking. A quick dusting with icing sugar soon disguised the appearance. 


So, for the taste test, I took it to my Mum and Dad’s to try.

Mum’s a great cook and has been making cakes with her Kenwood Chef since the early sixties. I was amazed when she was impressed with my creation. Dad loves cake and he really enjoyed it too, phew! 

Ok, so I had to extend the cooking time by a mere 100%. But it all turned out well, I will definitely be making this again!

Your reviews

  1. Looks good, wow you have come a long way Mr Kirk Kenwood have worked a small miracle!

    Posted: 21/08/2013 14:03:08 / Rachel jones

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Week 4

Tristan - Week 4

Sunblush Tomato Bread

Could this process of Kenwood’s actually be working???

Tristan 4 L

Have I just created something close to perfect? That would be a big YES! Ok, so to some people I've just made some rolls... but then this is leaps and bounds from anything I've ever come close to before.

Tristan 4 P

Another bizarre week when I received a text message from my wife Helen to say she was at a soft play area with our children when reading a popular women's magazine, my picture had popped up. It was all to do with the Kenwood Disaster Chef competition, of course, and as you would expect, she was not the only person to have seen it. And so I received another week of "encouraging ribbing"… I think that’s what it’s called!

I was prepared again for disappointment but… it never came.

So, to the cooking, and my initial panic started when it dawned on me there was no internet tutorial from Ben Ebbrell and instead we were to use the dough tutorial from the previous week. Fine... but it wasn't quite the same, I figured I was on for a proper disaster this week. However, as always, the Kenwood Chef Titanium, with the Dough Hook attached, turned out amazing and this time I did remember the salt, in fact I remembered everything. Admittedly I did add too much liquid at the start but I added a bit more flour to sort this out, phew.

After leaving the dough to double in size for an hour, I added the sun blushed tomatoes, rosemary and garlic. Again, the Dough Hook made light work of combining everything. After leaving the dough mixture again for another half an hour to expand further, I whacked it into the pre-heated oven at 180c. Not burning things is still not coming naturally to me and I would not like to guess at how many times I took a long hard look into the oven. But, it paid off. My pride of the rolls, which I removed from the oven, was marred considerably by the memories of the good looking but mortifying tasting pizza from the previous week. I I was prepared again for disappointment but... it never came.

A truly lovely consistency to the rolls and all the flavour of the rosemary, garlic and sun blushed tomatoes. Charlotte and Elliott loved them, even Helen was stunned they had turned out so well. "Get in!" Sun blushed tomato, rosemary and garlic rolls, Done!     

Your reviews

  1. Wow! The rolls look good enough to eat. Well done Tristan. Did your biceps hurt after that pose?

    Posted: 14/08/2013 14:51:22 / Mo creasey

  2. Wow they look great...progress indeed . Well done

    Posted: 21/08/2013 13:59:35 / Rachel jones

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Week 3

Tristan - Week 3

Vegetarian Pizza

Unarguably uncooked…

Tristan L

Hmmmm, as I write this I am not sure how my stomach is feeling after defiantly eating rather a lot of unarguably uncooked pizza dough.

On the whole I had a great morning making and cooking this week’s challenge. After watching Ben's tutorial I figured I had no chance of making pizza dough that had a lovely stretchy consistency I had seen on TV before. But amazingly, after carefully putting everything into the Kenwood Chef with the Dough Hook on, I could hardly believe I had done it! Then to my complete joy when, after resting, it had risen brilliantly.

Tristan PMy confidence had now brimmed over and for the next section I thought Ben’s job was mine! I chopped my tomatoes and fried them in the garlic oil reducing them perfectly. I made light work of the onion and remembered the red pepper technique from week one. I even enjoyed dealing with the Mozzarella and spinach leaves.

How could anything that looked so good taste so bland? If you forget to season it obviously.

So when I put all the toppings on and it looked great, I really did think "this is it, I can cook!"
When I pulled the pizza out of the oven and it looked rustically perfect, I proudly presented my offering to the family and there was even a "wow" from my wife Helen!
 
So where did it go wrong? Well, basically, from the first taste. How could anything that looked so good taste so bland? If you forget to season it obviously. I had missed this small detail despite having a short heated discussion with Helen that it didn't say anything about salt, only to be proved very quickly that I was wrong. Also forgetting to add the oregano at the right point (chucking it over the top at the end didn't cut it). And of course, not cooking the pizza for quite long enough. But I insisted had, to the point where I have pretty much eaten it all myself and now my stomach feels rather heavy!

I am definitely taking a lot of positives from this week’s challenge but I do retract any notion that Ben’s job is unsafe. It clearly is very safe!! My confidence in the kitchen has been like a roller coaster today, it went very high and then plummeted! But I am still looking forward to next week’s challenge! 

Watch Tristan's videos here:-

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Week 2

Tristan - Week 2

Eton Mess

Brown But Not Burnt Hurray!

Tristan 1

I would have never have coped with this week’s task without the expert online guidance from Kenwood. Separating the egg whites was a first for me and was as tricky as I expected. Having two children, runny noses are common place in our house and I do believe this helped me with the egg white separating skill. Surprisingly for me, it did go reasonably well with very little shell getting into the wrong place. The Kenwood Chef Titanium made light work of turning the egg whites into peaks. This is where I added the icing sugar and whisked further.

Before long I was spooning out small dollops of the mixture onto my grease proof paper. I realised I was leaving too large a gap between them and ran out of room on my tray; it did not look very professional when I dolloped more mixture on top and in between some of the gaps, but soon it was done and into the oven. I set the alarm on the oven for two hours and then left the house for two and a half hours! My meringues were a bit brown but, "hurray", not burnt!

Tristan 2

Likewise with the cream - I set it on to whisk and then took a phone call, after which the cream was whisked stiff - nothing like the smooth runny mixture it should have been. I still persevered, adding the strawberry's and vanilla as instructed and although the effect wasn't exactly marbled, it did look good.

Presentation has never been a strong point for me and with off-white meringues, pink cream and only a couple of strawberry slices, today was no exception. However, the taste test proved to be a winner!

 My favourite part was seeing the meringues all cooking in the oven. It felt like a real achievement turning egg whites into something. Also, of course, seeing the children eat and enjoy something I had made on my own -"Yes!"  

Roll on next week.....

Watch Tristan's video here:-

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Week 1

Tristan - Week 1

Spicy cheese and pepperoni slice

A Pastry Triumph

Well what a week, it all started on Tuesday with the arrival of the Kenwood Chef Titanium, which is the best thing ever to grace our kitchen work surface. It looks amazing and if you know what you are doing it will also do amazing things!

Then on Thursday the camera to log my ''progress'' arrived along with a Kenwood apron, which because I’ve never owned an own apron before, I was sadly quite excited by! Not long after our Sainsbury's food was delivered, of which there was a bottle of wine that had been poured before the driver had left my yard!

So to today, Saturday and the journey really begins. I tried my best to be organised and started by weighing things out.

I had the laptop with the excellent instructions with me and there is no way I would've coped without being able to see how to do things. I did cover the laptop in flour but it does seem fine. I couldn't believe it when my dough looked ''mostly'' like it should have done after coming out of the Kenwood Chef.

I did struggle to get the thickness right with the rolling pin and ended up using my tape measure to cut the pastry to size, although somehow they were still all different sizes. I enjoyed using the technique of preparing the pepper but did get carried away and used the whole bunch of spring onions instead of just four, as per the recipe.

I had an enormous amount of filling left over and this may be explained by the fact that I had perhaps not rolled my pastry out enough, which may also explain why at least two pints of fluid was needed to wash down one of my rather dry slices. But, they were definitely edible and personally, I am made up with them. OK, so it took me six hours from start to finish and yes there was a lot of cleaning up to be done (there is rather a lot of grated cheese in the vacuum cleaner’s filter now) and yes, the kids thought they looked nice but tasted ''yack''. Helen politely struggled through the dryness and agreed the flavours were definitely there. So overall I am declaring (compared with previous experiences) a triumph!!!

Your reviews

  1. Ha ha this is brilliant, Elliot looks like he's got a fur ball! Charlotte is showing polite maturity! Ooh I'm so hungry now.......x

    Posted: 18/07/2013 19:29:33 / Rachel Jones

  2. Well done Tris, keep up the good work lad! :)

    Posted: 18/07/2013 23:56:25 / Giles Elson

  3. Tris, I was massively impressed by your precision. The DIY tape measure to measure the pastry was my personal highlight!! ;)

    Posted: 22/07/2013 18:22:19 / Angela Barley

  4. They would have made great door stoppers!!

    Posted: 30/07/2013 17:48:41 / Helen Kirk

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Tristan Kirk

Devoted husband and father of two, Tristan, has developed a notorious reputation for being a terrible cook and has even been banned from the kitchen, unless in case of emergency. His “kitchen dysfunctions” as described by his wife, have included meatloaf that was still raw in the middle, revolting pasta and his own self-proclaimed speciality; Yorkshire pudding filled with instant noodles.

Tristan would like nothing more than to cook healthy and tasty meals for his children and to be able to make his wife a romantic dinner, which for once, doesn’t involve a takeaway menu or something from the freezer.