Batters form the basis of so many simple and delicious dishes, from pancakes to Yorkshire puddings. The trick is knowing how much liquid to add, so that the perfect consistency is achieved.
Makes 8 (to serve 4)
100 g plain flour
Pinch of salt
275 ml milk, or a mixture of milk and water
60 g goose or duck fat, or 60 ml vegetable oil
- Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Beat the eggs in a bowl to loosen, then add them to the well.
- Stir the eggs with a wooden spoon, concentrating your stirring only in the eggs, gradually drawing in flour from around the edge. Don’t force flour in; it will be incorporated automatically as you stir the eggs.
- As the egg mixture becomes thicker, add a little milk to loosen it, then keep stirring. Continue in this way until all the flour has been incorporated. Beat to ensure the thick mixture is smooth before adding the remaining milk. Chill the batter in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7.
- Spoon a little fat into 8 moulds of a deep muffin tin; there should only be about 2mm fat in the bottom of each mould. Place the tin on a baking tray in the oven to heat.
- When the fat is hot, test a few drops of batter in one well; the oil should sizzle, so if it doesn’t, return the tin to the oven to heat. Quickly fill the muffin moulds about half to two-thirds full with the batter and return to the oven immediately. Cook for 20-25 minutes until well risen, a deep golden colour and crisp on the outside. Do not open the oven door during baking, or the puddings may collapse.
- Remove from the oven, unmould each pudding and drain on a tray lined with kitchen paper, then serve at once.
Note The traditional accompaniment to roast beef, these are best baked while the joint is resting. Prepare the batter in advance.