Celebrity Best Home Cook episode 2: The search for the first ever Celebrity Best Home Cook continues as Dame Mary Berry, the queen of home cooking, Michelin-starred chef Angela Hartnett and produce expert Chris Bavin put the remaining nine talented celebrity home cooks through their paces. Hosted by Claudia Winkleman.
This week Mary challenges the celebrities to produce their ultimate chocolate dessert for a romantic date night meal. Easier said than done for one celebrity who declares that her heart has been constantly broken and makes a French chocolate heartbreak cake for one. It’s a different story for some happily married celebrities who proudly cook their partner’s favourite dessert. And the singleton stars cook decadent chocolate desserts in the hope of wooing a potential partner – with one declaring that his chocolate plum tart is for the naughtier end of date nights. At the end of this round, the judges each pick their personal favourite, but for all this talk of love, will the judges be feeling kind and generous?
On day two, the celebrities have another chance to impress the judges in Chris’s tricky Rustle Up challenge. This week, Chris has picked one of his favourite cuts of leftover meat, but his fondness for this ingredient is not shared by all the cooks. With only an hour and a limited selection of other ingredients, the cooks need to stay calm under pressure – which is easier said than done. The judges must then decide, taking both the Ultimate and the Rustle Up into account, who is safe and who needs to prove themselves by cooking again in Angela’s dreaded Eliminator.
Having witnessed the Eliminator round last week and seen the first celebrity cook leave the competition, the cooks are even more tense this time around. At the end of the round, the judges must agree which is the weakest dish without knowing which cook made it. Everyone learns at the same time which celebrity cook is leaving the competition. Nine become eight.
Celebrity Best Home Cook episode 2 recipe:
Creamy mushroom vol-au-vents
There’s a reason why mushroom vol-au-vents – crisp, golden puff pastry with a creamy filling – will always be popular: they’re delicious! Serve them as a first course or light lunch – or see the recipe tip for making canapé sized vol-au-vents.
- Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry until it is 4–5mm thick. Using a plain 10cm/4in round cutter, stamp out six rounds. Stamp the centres out of three of these rounds using a plain 6cm/2½in cutter. Discard the centres so you are left with three rounds and three rings.
- Arrange the 10cm/4in rounds on the prepared baking sheet, leaving plenty of space between each one. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the pastry rounds with beaten egg.
- Top each round with a ring of pastry so the edges match up neatly, press down lightly to join them, then brush the tops with some more beaten egg. Prick the exposed centre with a fork to prevent it from rising too much during baking. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium–high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until softened and fully cooked. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Pour in the cream and allow to bubble until it coats the mushrooms in a light sauce. Stir in the Parmesan and most of the chopped herbs and season well.
- Transfer the pastry cases to a serving plate. Fill the centres with the hot mushroom mixture, letting the excess cascade down the sides. Sprinkle over the remaining herbs to serve.
Chocolate mousse cake
This gluten-free chocolate mousse cake is rich and indulgent and looks stunning decorated with raspberries and mint leaves.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease a 20cm/8in springform cake tin and line with baking paper.
- Melt the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water (ensure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water). Once melted, remove from the heat and stir until smooth. Set aside for a few minutes to cool slightly.
- Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a large bowl for 2–3 minutes, until pale and creamy. Carefully fold in the melted chocolate until evenly combined.
- In another large bowl, whisk the egg whites together with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form when the whisk is lifted. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until evenly combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30–35 minutes, until the outside is firm but the middle still has a very gentle wobble. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin: it will form a crust and crack slightly as it cools and sets.
- Transfer the cake to a serving plate. Decorate with raspberries, sift over a little icing sugar and add some fresh mint leaves.