Popovers (mini toad-in-the-hole)

November 28, 2016
Family Verdict:


1 large egg

2oz plain flour

4 fl oz milk

6 chipolatas

preheat the oven to 200 C

in a measuring jug, beat the egg into the milk

Put the flour in a bowl, pour in half the egg/milk mix and using a whisk, beat until there are no lumps

Ad the rest of the egg/milk and beat to a smooth consistency. Pour this back into the jug for ease of pouring

Put a small amount of veg oil in 6 of the depressions of a silicon muffin tray (large muffins). With your fingers make sure the sides of the mufin cup are coated in oil as well as the bottom.Make sure the muffin tray is on a heat proof carrier so you can move it into the oven when you have filled it.

Cut chipoloatas in half, and add two halves to each muffin cup

Pour in enough batter to each cup to use it all evenly between the 6 cups.

Put the muffin try into the hot oven

Cook for about 20-25 minutes when the batter will be gloriously risen and dark brown. You need to cook them for long enough for the batter to harden and set - too soon and they will deflate as soon as you take them out.


"What on earth are popovers?" I hear you ask. Well they are individual toad-in-the-hole. For some people that doesn't help. Hopefully for the British amongst us it does. What is toad-in-the-hole? Well it is sausages in yorkshire pudding. I suspect if you don't understand what the former is, then this explanation won't help much. OK it's sausages in a batter pudding. Doesn't sound very appetising like that does it? I guess that is why it is called toad-on-the-hole - to make it more appetising. Although I guess if you think about the words in the name (without the childhood comfort food associations) that doesn't really work either. What you eat toad?

Quick diversion - why is it called toad-in -the-hole? Step forward Mr Google, and after reading any number of articles it turns out the simple answer is "Nobody Knows". Perhaps it should be a QI question. First mentioned in a gastronomy guide in the 1750's, it was already well established then and the origin of its name lost. Back then it was meat in batter, the idea being to stretch a little meat a long way (ie a way of making little go further), and that is the consistent theme as it morphed in the late 19th century (when sausages came to the UK in the form we know them today) into sausages in batter pudding - making cheap meat go further. Why toad? Polite reasons suggest a resemblance to a toad sticking its head out of the mud, vulgar ones suggest the sausages looks like "turds" and when said with a yorkshire accent.... Nobody knows.

I am not sure why we call the individual ones Popovers - it came from a children's recipe book. But then if I use mr Google again, I see popovers are what the Americans call individual Yorkshire puddings - so at least that one is solved.

Anyway, they are simple to make and cook. I use a silicon muffin try to make mine in, and my method reflects this. I do this because it eliminates the need to pre-heat the tray and oil but still delivers fantastic and reliable results. If you use this method with a metal tray, I suspect you will be disappointed. Don't blame me, you have been warned. I also dont pre-brown the sausages, as I use chipolatas which seem to brown reliably on their own,

The batter I use here is easy and all purpose. I use the same 1-2-4 ratio (so 2-4-8 if you have a bigger crowd) for yorkshires, and flat pancakes. It works well for both. And that is why I use imperial measures in this recipe, because it is easy to remember and works. Reason enough. These quantities make about 6 individual popovers, or if you leave out the sausage, yorkshire puddings.

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