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Mary Berry’s Very Posh Fishcakes

Mary Berry's Very Posh Fishcakes are coated in a layer of crispy breadcrumbs and filled with a cheesy fondant sauce. As seen on the BBC2 series Mary Berry Everyday, these fishcakes are ideal for a dinner party or special meal.

From the book


These both look and taste amazing. When you cut into them, a wonderful cheesy sauce oozes out, which means no extra sauce is needed. Serve with a few dressed lamb’s lettuce leaves.

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325g (11oz) floury potatoes (about 1 large), peeled and cubed
325g (11oz) undyed smoked haddock fillets
1 tbsp sunflower oil
A knob of butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 lemon wedges, to serve
For the fondant sauce:
15g (½oz) butter
15g (½oz) plain flour
160ml (5fl oz) milk
½ tsp Dijon mustard
½ tbsp lemon juice
25g (1oz) Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp chopped parsley
For the breadcrumb coating:
1 egg
3 tbsp plain flour
About 75g (3oz) fine panko breadcrumbs (see tip)

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Cook time: 40 minutes plus cooling

1. Preheat the oven 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6.

2. Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for about 15 minutes or until tender, then drain and mash well before setting aside to cool.

3. To cook the haddock, arrange the fillets, skin side up, on a sheet of foil and fold over the fish to make a parcel. Place on a baking tray and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until just cooked. Open the foil and peel the skin from each of the fillets, then set aside in the tin to cool in the juices. Leave the oven switched on and place a baking sheet inside to get very hot.

4. When the fish is cold, remove from the tin (reserving the juices) and flake large pieces into a bowl (see tip). Add the mash, mix gently to combine and season with salt and pepper. Chill in the fridge while you make the sauce.

5. Melt the 15g (½oz) of butter in a small saucepan, add the 15g (½oz) of flour and whisk over a medium heat for 2–3 minutes until smooth. Heat the milk in a separate pan, then gradually whisk into the butter and flour roux until you have a thick smooth sauce. Add the mustard, lemon juice, Parmesan and parsley, along with 2 tablespoons of the reserved fish cooking juices. Tip into a bowl and leave to cool for 15 minutes.

6. Divide the fish mixture into quarters and shape into four even-sized balls. Using your thumbs, make a deep well in the centre of each ball and spoon in thick cooled sauce until it comes to within 1cm (½in) of the top. Push some of the fish mixture on top so the cheese sauce is encased within the ball, then place on a board and press down a little to flatten into a fishcake (see tips).

7. Beat the egg for the coating in a shallow bowl, sprinkle the flour on to a plate and add the breadcrumbs to another plate. Coat each fishcake all over, first in the flour, then in the egg and finally the breadcrumbs, pressing the breadcrumbs in well and up the sides to ensure the fishcake is fully covered. Set aside on a plate until ready to cook. 

8. Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan, add the fishcakes and carefully fry over a medium heat for 2–3 minutes on each side until golden all over. Transfer to the hot baking sheet and slide into the oven to cook for 15 minutes or until piping hot inside

9. Serve hot with the lemon wedges.

PREPARE AHEAD: Can be made the day before. Pan-fry up to 8 hours ahead and cook in the oven (preheated as in step 1) for 30 minutes to serve.

FREEZE: Freezes well uncooked.

MARY’S EVERYDAY TIPS: Try to keep the fish in fairly chunky flakes, so the fishcakes have a good texture.

Panko breadcrumbs are my favourite as they stay crisp during cooking and give a lovely texture. Different brands vary in coarseness, however, and it’s best to use very fine breadcrumbs for this recipe. If yours are coarse, place in a resealable freezer bag and bash with a rolling pin to make them finer.

You may prefer to shape the fishcakes using wet hands – this makes it easier to handle the mash. It can be tricky to re-shape the balls once they are filled with sauce, hence not filling them quite to the top.

If you have any of the fondant sauce left over, warm through in a small milk pan and serve on the side.

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From the book: Mary Berry Everyday

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