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Recipes with Paula McIntyre

Friday, 29 January 2010

Paula McIntyre

Paula McIntyre is one of Northern Ireland's leading chefs. Hosting the cooking slot on Radio Ulster's Saturday Magazine programme since 2004, she writes a weekly recipes column for Sunday Life newspaper.

Paula trained at the prestigious Johnson and Wales College of Culinary Arts in Rhode Island before opening her own restaurant in Manchester. She returned to Ireland in 1998 and worked as a head chef at Ghan House in Carlingford, Co Louth. She has also had her own TV show, A taste for Adventure, on BBC 2 NI.

Sweet Potato Pies with Goat's Cheese

Pecan Nut Pastry


. 225g plain flour
. 50g pecan nuts
. ½ teaspoon salt
. 75g chilled butter
. 1 medium egg
. 1 tablespoon cold water


1. Blend the flour, pecan nuts and salt to fine powder in a food processor. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.

2. Mix in the egg and water until the mixture comes together. Wrap in cling and chill.



. 2 tablespoons olive oil
. 300g sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
. ½ medium red onion, chopped
. 1 clove garlic, chopped
. 1 tablespoon sage, rosemary and thyme leaves,chopped
. 125g goat's cheese
. Salt and pepper
. 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of cold water, mixed


Pre-heat oven to 200c

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and when hot add the sweet potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to roasting tin. Roast for 10 minutes or until soft.

2. Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Cook until soft and add the herbs - cook for a further minute.

3. Add to sweet potatoes, check seasoning and cool. Mix in the goat's cheese.

4. Lower oven to 180c to bake the pies.

5. Divide the pastry into 8 pieces and roll each piece into a ball.

6. Roll each ball into a circle about 8 cm in diameter. Trim around the edges or just go for the rustic look!

7. Brush the edges with the egg yolk mixture and dollop some sweet potato in the middle.

8. Fold over the pastry into semi circle, sealing the edges well.

9. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

10. Place on a baking tray lined with non-stick parchment paper, brush with egg yolk and bake in 180oc oven until golden brown - about 20 minutes.

Roast Onion Dip


. 1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half
. 1 tablespoon olive oil
. Salt and pepper
. Few sprigs rosemary and thyme
. 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
. 200ml sour cream


1. Place the onion in a piece of tin foil.
2. Drizzle with the oil, season and scatter over the herbs and balsamic.
3. Bake in a 200c oven until soft - about 40 minutes.
4. Cool and blend with the sour cream. Check seasoning.
5. Add chopped chives or parsley if you wish.

Ginger Cake with Orange Praline frosting and Plums Roasted with Orange Liqueur

Ginger Cake


. 1 cooking apple, peeled and grated
. 100g maple syrup
. 75g treacle
. 75g golden syrup
. 175g dark muscovado sugar
. 175g butter
. 2 large eggs
. 175g plain flour
. 175g malted or whole meal flour
. 1 teaspoon mixed spice
. 2 rounds preserved ginger finely chopped
. 1 and a half teaspoons bread soda


Grease and line and baking tin with non-stick parchment paper or use individual moulds

Pre-set oven to 160c

1. Place maple syrup,apple, treacle, golden syrup, butter and ginger in a large saucepan and cook on medium heat
2. Melt the butter
3. Mix the flours, spice and baking soda together
4. Add the melted butter to the syrup mixture
5. Remove from heat and mix in the dry ingredients and finally the eggs.
6. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour or until an inserted skewer comes out clean - will take less if using smaller moulds
7. Cool on a wire rack

Orange Praline Frosting

Orange Praline Ingredients:

. 200g castor sugar
. 2 tablespoons water
. Zest of 1 orange (keep the juice for the plums)
. 50g toasted chopped almonds


1. Place the sugar and water in a heavy based saucepan and cook over high heat. Stir a little at the beginning but leave when it starts to caramelize as the sugar will crystallise
2. When the sugar starts to colour add the orange zest and cook to a golden amber colour. Add the nuts, mix and turn onto a sheet of parchment paper
3. Cool and then chop to fine crumbs

Frosting Ingredients:

. 400g mascarpone
. 100ml double cream
. Half orange praline from above
. 1 vanilla pod


1. Place the mascarpone in a bowl and mix in the cream and praline
2. Split the vanilla pod and scrape in the seeds - keep the pod for the plums
3. Spread over the ginger cake and just before serving sprinkle over the remaining praline

Orange Liqueur Roasted Plums


. 8 ripe plums, halved and stoned
. 1 tablespoon castor sugar
. Juice of orange from above
. Splash Grand Marnier or orange liqueur
. Vanilla pod from above


1. Place the plums in a baking dish, flesh side up
2. Place the castor sugar, orange juice , grand marnier and vanilla pod in a small saucepan and simmer until sugar has dissolved.
3. Pour over the plums and cover with parchment paper.
4. Bake in a 180oc oven until soft but still retaining their shape - about 15 minutes.
5. Serve a wedge of the frosted cake with plums on the side.