ultimate toad in the hole

Gordon Ramsay

serves 3-4

Sometimes the batter in a traditional toad in the hole can be on the heavy side. In this recipe, the eggs are separated and the whites whisked up and then folded into the batter at the end, giving you a light batter that puffs up beautifully in the oven. The caraway seeds give this classic dish a new dimension, with the bacon helping everything to brown nicely while adding heaps of flavour.

6-8 rashers streaky bacon
6-8 thick pork sausages
150g plain flour
2 tsp English mustard powder
1 tsp caraway seeds
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large free range eggs, separated
300ml milk

for the apple and onion cider gravy

25g butter
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
1 tsp caster sugar
1 medium Bramley apple, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1 tsp thyme leaves
2 tsp plain flour
250ml hot chicken stock
250ml medium dry cider
1-2 tsp Dijon mustard

Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas 7. Wrap the bacon tightly around the sausages, then place them in a lightly greased 20 x 30cm nonstick roasting tin, spaced apart. Put the roasting tin in the oven and brown the bacon and sausages for about 20 mins, turning them every 5 mins.

Meanwhile, sift the flour and mustard powder into a mixing bowl. Add the caraway seeds and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk the egg yolks and milk together, then gradually add to the flour mix to make a smooth batter. Set aside.

Once the bacon and sausages have browned sufficiently, whisk the egg whites to medium peaks. Fold the whites into the batter mixture with a large metal spoon, using a figure of eight motion. Remove the roasting tin from the oven and pour the batter in between the sausages. Return the tin to the oven and bake for 25-30 mins, until the batter is well risen and golden.

While the toad in the hole is in the oven, you can knock up the gravy. Melt the butter in a medium pan and add the onion and sugar. Stir frequently over a medium to high heat for 7-10 mins until the onions are soft and golden. Add the apple chunks and thyme leaves and cook for a further 2-3 mins, until the apple starts to soften.

Sprinkle over the flour and stir to coat the onion and apple. Gradually pour in the hot chicken stock while stirring, followed by the cider. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 mins, stirring frequently. Whiz the gravy in a blender and return to the pan to reheat, adding mustard, salt and pepper to taste. Remove the toad in the hole from the oven and serve with the apple and onion gravy, mash and a green vegetable.