Hairy Bikers’ Best of British episode 20 – Sweet Tooth: The duo explore how the British love affair with sugar has evolved over centuries. They then try their hand at making their favourite childhood sweets, create their own sweet and sour dish, and make a truly sumptuous cheesecake.
The bikers continue their culinary journey through time as they celebrate British food.
Hairy Bikers’ Best of British episode 20 – Sweet Tooth
David Myers and Si King collectively known as the Hairy Bikers, are British television chefs. They have presented a range of television shows that combine cooking with the travelogue format, mostly for the BBC but also for the now-defunct Good Food channel. They have also produced a range of cookery books published to accompany their various television series.
Myers and King have known each other since the 1990s, with both having backgrounds in television production. Their first appearance on UK television was as presenters of The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook, which began on the BBC in 2004 and continued for four series.
The followed this with The Hairy Bikers’ Food Tour of Britain, The Hairy Bikers’ Mums Know Best, Hairy Bikers’ Meals on Wheels, Hairy Bikers’ Best of British, The Hairy Bikers’ Bakeation, Hairy Dieters: How to Love Food and Lose Weight, The Hairy Bikers’ Asian Adventure, The Hairy Bikers’ Northern Exposure and The Hairy Bikers’ Pubs That Built Britain for BBC Two, and The Hairy Bikers’ Mississippi Adventure for Good Food.
Sweet and sour chicken
You’ve tasted sweet and sour chicken at the takeaway, but you can make it far better at home and it’s much healthier! The Hairy Bikers show you how. Each serving provides 310 kcal, 20g protein, 40g carbohydrates (of which 32g sugars), 7g fat (of which 1g saturates), 4g fibre and 0.9g salt.
- To make the sauce, put the cornflour in a small bowl and stir in two tablespoons of the pineapple juice until smooth. Put the remaining pineapple juice in a separate bowl and stir in the garlic, ginger, soy, vinegar, sugar, ketchup and chilli flakes until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
- Put the pineapple on a board and cut off the skin. Quarter lengthways and remove the tough central core. Cut the pineapple into thick slices and set aside. Cut each chicken breast into seven to nine even pieces (depending on size).
- Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan or wok and stir-fry the onion and peppers for three minutes over a high heat. Coat the chicken in the cornflour and add to the pan. Stir-fry for four minutes until very lightly coloured on all sides.
- Add the pineapple and sweet and sour sauce to the pan with the chicken and bring to a simmer over a medium heat. Cook for 4–5 minutes, stirring regularly until the chicken is cooked through and the pineapple is hot.
- Stir in the cornflour and pineapple solution mixture and cook for 30–60 seconds until the sauce is thickened and glossy, turning the chicken and vegetables until nicely coated. Sprinkle with sliced spring onions and serve hot.
Pecan toffee cheesecake – Hairy Bikers’ Best of British episode 20
This dessert is like a big kiss on the lips. All of the toffee and pecan flavor will have you reaching for another slice.
- Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and lightly oil a 23cm/9in springform cake tin.
- Put the pecans and biscuits into a food processor and blend to a coarse powder. Melt the butter in a small pan and pour into the food processor with the motor running. Blend until the biscuits and butter are thoroughly combined.
- Place the crumb mixture into the cake tin. Spread evenly over the base and press down lightly with the back of a spoon. Place the tin in the fridge and leave the base to set while you make the filling.
- For the filling, put 200g/7oz of the caster sugar in a saucepan with the cold water and heat gently until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Bring the liquid to the boil and cook for 4-5 minutes without stirring until the sugar syrup turns a deep golden brown. Swirl the caramel around the pan gently as it bubbles.
- As soon as the caramel is the colour of toffee, remove from the heat and carefully pour onto the lined baking tray. Tilt the tin so the caramel covers the base evenly. Leave to cool and set.
- Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Take off the heat and leave to cool for 20 minutes, but do not allow to set.
Method part 2
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C (fan)/Gas 4 and boil a kettle of water.
- Put the cheese, cream, remaining sugar, egg yolks and eggs in a food processor and blend until smooth. Gradually add the cooled chocolate with the motor running and blend until just mixed.
- Crush the hardened caramel into small shards using the end of a rolling pin. Fold half of the caramel into the cheese mixture and pour gently on to the biscuit base. (Keep the rest on the tray, lightly covered with clingfilm in a cool place. Do not put in the fridge or the moisture will cause the caramel to soften.)
- Put a large piece of aluminium foil on the work surface. Place the tin in the centre of the foil and bring up the sides to create a foil bowl around the cheesecake.
- Place in a medium-sized roasting tin and add enough just-boiled water to rise 2cm/¾in up the sides of the tin. Carefully place the roasting tin in the centre of the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes. The cheesecake is ready when it is almost, but not fully, set.
- When the cheesecake is ready, turn off the oven but leave the cheesecake inside for a further 30 minutes. (This will help prevent the surface cracking as the cheesecake cools.)
- Lift the cake tin from the water and peel off the foil. Put the cheesecake in the fridge, cover and chill for at least two hours before serving.
- To serve, carefully release the tin and slide the cheesecake onto a flat serving plate or cake stand, using a palette knife to help you. Whip the cream until soft peaks form and spoon in big fluffy clouds over the cheesecake. Scatter the remaining shards of caramel on top. Serve in wedges.