In Don’t Sweat the Aubergine, I had the nerve to question Delia Smith’s method of making mashed potato, with a hand-held whisk. Overworking mash turns it gluey. Surely the whisk would bash up the starch granules and release their contents?
I did add - conscious of my temerity - that I was sure that Delia had never served a plate of gluey mash in her life; but I am embarrassed to admit that only now, 10 years after I wrote those libellous and sacrilegious words, have I tested the technique.
I was prompted by my discovery that a hand-held whisk produces more flavoursome hummus than does a food processor (this post). And, as you would expect, I learned that Delia was right.
The mash I made with the whisk was not impeccably light and fluffy; but its slight glueyness – which you often get from enthusiastic stirring with a wooden spoon – was a quality that I rather like. Delia’s recipe is here.
Instead of crème fraiche, I used a little milk with about 50% more butter than the recipe recommends. (And I did not bother with the business with the tea towel.) I warmed the butter and milk in a small saucepan before pouring them over the potatoes.