Lola and Finn's Mum

Lola and Finn's Mum

Thursday, 28 March 2013

No Amphibians were harmed! - Toad in the Hole


So it is the end of March and I would be expecting to be cooking meals that aren't as stodgy and wonderful as Toad in the Hole, but snow in late March means that salad isn't really going to cut it. Shame eh?


Anyway, to celebrate the fact that British Summer Time starts on Sunday and I am still scraping ice off the car, here is a recipe for one of the ultimate and peculiar named British iconic dishes. Whoever thought bunging sausages in Yorkshire pudding batter would be so glorious? Mind you let me remind myself of the key ingredients again... yes, it was always going to be wonderful wasn't it?

March is Delia month at 'Cook like a Star' blog hop, hosted by Zoe at Bake for Happy Kids, Baby Sumo from Eat your heart out and Mich from Piece of Cake. After you have looked at this Delia recipe, take a look below for more Delia deliciousness.

Here is the recipe:

Toad in the Hole with Roasted Onion Gravy, adapted from Delia Smith's 'How to Cook, Book One'.

My adaptations in red

Note - I doubled the quantity below to make four to six servings:


6 good-quality pork sausages – about 14 oz (400 g)
1 tablespoon groundnut or other flavourless oil (if necessary)
For the batter:
3 oz (75 g) plain flour
1 large egg
3 fl oz (75 ml) semi-skimmed milk
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and freshly milled black pepper
2 fl oz (55 ml) water
For the onion gravy:
8 oz (225 g) onions, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons groundnut or other flavourless oil
1 level teaspoon golden caster sugar
1 dessertspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 level teaspoon mustard powder
15 fl oz (425 ml) vegetable stock made from 1½ level teaspoons Marigold Swiss vegetable bouillon powder dissolved in 15 fl oz (425 ml) boiling water (I made mine using a vegetable stock cube)
1 rounded dessertspoon plain flour
salt and freshly milled black pepper


Begin by making the batter, and to do this sieve the flour into a large bowl, holding the sieve up high to give the flour a good airing. Now, with the back of a spoon, make a well in the centre, break the egg into it and add some salt and pepper. Mix the dried thyme in.

Now, measure the milk and 2 fl oz (55 ml) water in a measuring jug, then, using an electric hand whisk on a slow speed, begin to whisk the egg into the flour – as you whisk, the flour around the edges will slowly be incorporated. Then add the liquid gradually, stopping to scrape the flour into the mixture. 

Whisk until the batter is smooth. Now the batter is ready for use, and although it's been rumoured that batter left to stand is better, I have never found this, so just make it whenever it's convenient.

Now place the sliced onions in a bowl, add 1 teaspoon of the oil and the sugar and toss the onions around to get the lightest coating, then spread them on the baking tray.

Next arrange the sausages in the roasting tin, then place the onions on a high shelf in the oven, with the sausages on a lower shelf, and set a timer for 10 minutes. When the timer goes off, remove the sausages from the oven but leave the onions in for a further 4-5 minutes – they need to be nicely blackened round the edges. When they are ready, remove them and leave to one side.

Now place the roasting tin containing the sausages over direct heat turned to medium and, if the sausages haven't released much fat, add the tablespoon of oil. When the tin is really hot and the oil is beginning to shimmer – it must be searing hot – quickly pour the batter in all around the sausages. Immediately return the roasting tin to the oven, this time on the highest shelf, and cook the whole thing for 30 minutes. Now for the gravy.

First add the Worcestershire sauce and mustard powder to the stock, then add the onions from the baking tray to a medium-sized pan. Now add the second teaspoon of oil, then, using a wooden spoon, stir in the plain flour. Stir all this together over a medium heat and then switch to a whisk, then gradually add the stock to the pan, whisking all the time, until it's all in.

Then bring it up to simmering point and gently simmer for 5 minutes. Taste to check the seasoning, then pour into a warmed serving jug or over the toad. When the toad is ready, it should be puffed brown and crisp and the centre should look cooked and not too squidgy.

Serve with mash and vegetables, and warm yourself up a little!

If you're interested in joining the blop hop, click here for details, and please visit the wonderful food blogs below for great ideas and recipes.


  1. Looks delicious! Thanks for your entries to Cook Like A Star!

  2. Hi Stella, one of the things I miss most when I moved home is the good quality sausages! The sausages here are mostly rubbish unless we go and get them from gourmet shops.

  3. Hi Stella,

    Sorry for my visit as I had to go back to Singapore last minute for personal matters...

    Time really files this year and can't believe Easter is now over. Snowing in March? Even with summer time adjustment??? Anything as long as your tummy feels good with this yummy toad in the hole :D



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