The Little Library Kitchen: Adrian Mole’s toad in the hole

In her new monthly video column, food writer Kate Young cooks from her favourite books. First up: toad in the hole, inspired by Sue Townsend's book The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole

Added on

By Kate Young on




Toad in the Hole inspired by The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 And 3/4


Serves 4


  • 120g plain flour
  • 3 eggs
  • Pinch of flaky sea salt
  • 300ml milk
  • 8 fat sausages
  • 30g butter
  • 1tbsp flavourless oil (or beef dripping if you have some)
  • 5 x 4cm stalks rosemary (optional)
  • 10 sprigs thyme (optional)
  • Gravy
  • 15ml butter (or oil, if you prefer)
  • 3 small red onions, sliced into semicircles
  • 1tsp brown sugar
  • 2tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1tbsp plain flour
  • 500ml beef stock


  • High-sided roasting tin, ideally one that can also sit on your hob
  • Tongs
  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/fan 190ºC/gas mark 6. Tip the flour into a bowl, make a well in the centre, crack the eggs in one by one and whisk in the flour. Add the salt and then whisk in the milk until you have a smooth, runny batter. Set aside for 15 minutes, while you cook the sausages.
  2. If your roasting tin will sit over the flame of your stove without cracking/burning, then that’s great. If your tin will not sit on the hob, then do this step in a frying pan and, once cooked, quickly transfer the sausages and any fat from the pan into a warmed roasting dish. Add the fat to the pan, heat until bubbling and fry the sausages over a medium heat until they are cooked. Allow them to blacken and blister in places.
  3. Scatter the herbs over the sausages, stalks and all. Pour the batter into the smoking hot pan, around the cooked sausages. It may spit a bit, so protect your arms with a tea towel. Put the tin straight into the hot oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, pulling it out when the batter is risen, crisp and browned in patches.
  4. While the toad in the hole is in the oven, make the gravy. Melt the butter in the saucepan and, once it is bubbling, add the onions. Cook for 10 minutes over a medium heat until softened.
  5. Add the sugar, stirring until it has dissolved into the butter. Pour in the Worcestershire sauce, and stir through. Sprinkle in the flour and stir to coat the onion. Pour in about 100ml of the stock and whisk until the sauce surrounding the onions is smooth. Add the rest of the liquid and bring to the boil, stirring with the wooden spoon until thick. Remove from the heat and warm again when you’re ready to serve.
  6. Remove the toad in the hole from the oven and serve immediately. Make sure that everyone has plenty of crispy bits from the sides of the dish and a generous spoonful of the gravy.

    This recipe is taken from Kate Young's  new cookbook, The Little Library Cookbook, out now


Sign up

Love this? Sign up to receive our Today in 3 email, delivering the latest stories straight to your inbox every morning, plus all The Pool has to offer. You can manage your email subscription preferences at My Profile at any time

Tagged in:
food honestly

Tap below to add to your homescreen

Love The Pool? Support us and sign up to get your favourite stories straight to your inbox