Brooklyn Beckham is at it again and back in the kitchen. The poor lad has angered the world yet again with his latest recipe shared on Instagram.
Pretty much as soon as the wannabe chef shared his video, it provoked a similar response as most of his videos have before, with some saying it ‘lacked finesse’ and others branding it ‘basic’.
Having watched the minute-long video around 235 times in an effort to recreate it, I can get where they’re coming from.
While a decent lasagne – vegan or otherwise – might boast ingredients running into double figures, Brooklyn’s is just eight.
Ellen Manning has decided to recreate Brooklyn Beckham’s latest culinary creation – a vegan lasagne – after he shared a tutorial on his Instagram page
And if you take things at face value, one of those comes out of a jar, somewhat ticking the ‘basic’ box which might not be what the 23-year-old is aiming for.
For many it’s the simplicity of his recipes that irk. They’re the kind of things most of us don’t really need any help doing – like a poke bowl or a gin and tonic.
Hence one angry critic questioning whether next week’s recipe will be dinosaur nuggets.
But for anyone who does actually want to replicate Brooklyn’s recipe, there’s another issue.
Brooklyn topped his lasagne with vegan cheese and what looked like vegan cream cheese instead of béchamel sauce
Elle confessed Brooklyn’s dish is ‘not quite comparable to a traditional lasagne’ because there is ‘no bubbling cheesy creaminess, no rich meatiness, and the burnt basil is less than attractive’
The fact you have to become a pasta Poirot to work out what he’s doing with his lasagne.
Brooklyn’s recipe for vegan lasagne
- Olive oil
- Vegan meat alternative
- Pre-made tomato sauce
- Vegan cheese (grated)
- Vegan cream cheese
1. Cut an aubergine into cubes and put on a well oiled trail. Place in the oven (temperature unspecified)
2. Chopping an onion and a clove of garlic
3. Fry together with swig of oil
4. Combine with a pre-made tomato sauce and meat-alternative
5. Boil pasta sheets
5. Layer into a dish, with a layer of the ‘ragu’ followed by a layer of pasta. Another layer of ragu.
6. Sprinkle grated vegan cheese and white blobs of vegan cream cheese across the top
7. Repeat until dish is full, before topping with vegan cheese and chopped basil leaves
8. Place into the oven, unspecified temperature, for an unspecified amount of time
The first few steps are fairly simple – and well documented. Cut an aubergine into cubes, put it on an oiled tray.
Except it’s left to your imagination as to what to do with that tray. I’m guessing it goes in the oven, so give it a go, hoping this is what Brooklyn would want.
Next is chopping an onion and a clove of garlic.
As I watch I’m slightly sceptical of this aspiring chef’s knife skills, but since I’ve got 17 years on him and still can’t do much better at chopping an onion, I’ll go easy.
The onion and garlic are fried in a pan, as per the video. I add the aubergine once it looks similar to his. And there’s the next conundrum.
Despite my many viewings of the video before I started, I can’t work out whether Brooklyn made his own tomato sauce or not.
There’s no jar – just a pristine white bowl like the ones proper chefs have on cooking shows.
So, is Brooklyn a ‘proper chef’ who’s knocked up his own vegan alternative to a ragu beforehand, or am I being duped and he actually grabbed a jar of the nearest available tomato sauce.
I’m unsure, and given I’m no chef myself, opt to do exactly that. I go for a good one, of course, in Brooklyn’s honour – with extra herbs, no less, as I’m sure they can’t do any harm.
Given the lack of many other ingredients, they’ll actually probably help.
After that, in goes a plant-based substitute for mince. Surprisingly, it doesn’t look half bad.
Maybe Brooklyn’s onto something after all. I decide to season it just in case because Brooklyn seems to have forgotten.
Then up he pipes from the comments on his post: ‘Hi everyone x I put seasoning in just didn’t get it on camera xx.’
Feeling rather buoyed, I’m expecting we might have some kind of funky plant-based béchamel coming up.
But no, we’re straight onto the pasta – boiling it first which throws me again. I always thought you didn’t need to boil the pasta first for a lasagne because it cooks quickly enough in the juices once you’ve assembled it. I’m not alone.
Cooking with Brooklyn: Brooklyn has been accused of making a recipe that school children would learn in their food technology lessons as he served up his latest cooking flop
A quick look at some of the comments on Brooklyn’s post and the pasta is another source of annoyance.
But I’m loyal to a recipe, as vague as it may be, so I throw a few sheets into a pan of boiling water.
Never one to conform, Brooklyn’s pasta appears to be corrugated, but extensive searching in my local supermarket yields only flat, traditional lasagne sheets – the ones people have been using the world over for years – so I stick to them, feeling deep down that it probably won’t make a difference.
Now it’s assembly time. A layer of the ‘ragu’, a layer of pasta. Another layer of ragu, and then Brooklyn’s alternative to Béchamel becomes clear.
According to Ellen, the first few steps are fairly simple – and include chopping an onion and an aubergine
Brooklyn didn’t explain what his method was, or quantities about the ingredients, so it was a lot of guess work for Ellen
Grated cheese and white blobs of what I can only assume are vegan cream cheese. I guess it makes sense if you’re trying to create the creaminess of béchamel.
Except it doesn’t, because it’s not. And yes, I know béchamel isn’t exactly vegan, but surely we can come up with a better alternative than blobs of cream cheese?
The answer again lies in one of the 1,095 comments on the post at the time I’m cooking as someone asks where the oat milk béchamel is.
Since I’ve already started, I valiantly try to imitate the Beckham smoothing of the cheese, but as I stroke it with my spatula my floppy pasta sheets slide around, as do the blobs.
Brooklyn’s pasta appears to be corrugated, but extensive searching in Ellen’s local supermarket yielded only flat, traditional lasagne sheets
Eventually I give up, somehow knowing we’ve definitely departed from anything resembling a lasagne I’ve tried, or made, in the past.
The layers are built. The final flourish added – chopped basil leaves. Another unexpected addition and another source of ire for some of the people who have commented on his latest attempt.
I have no idea how long to leave it in the oven for, because as well as no written instructions, there’s no commentary on the video with any helpful suggestions. Just a very cool soundtrack. The mystery continues.
I wait until the basil is burnt, as some people suggested it would be. Yet the vegan cheese hasn’t really melted.
But short of watching my creation actually burst into flame, I’ve got no choice. I take it out and it’s safe to say it’s not quite comparable to a traditional lasagne – there’s no bubbling cheesy creaminess, no rich meatiness, and the burnt basil is less than attractive.
I cut into it with gusto, a la Brooklyn, and give it a try. It isn’t as bad as I think it will be, but like its appearance, it bears little resemblance to a traditional lasagne.
The most obvious difference is the lack of béchamel – that rich creaminess that makes lasagne the pure definition of comfort food.
Instead, the grated vegan cheese has solidified rather than hardened, and the cream cheese blobs are still there, and slightly unsettling.
Yes, I get that a vegan lasagne can’t have a traditional béchamel in it, but surely there’s a better substitute?
And while the ‘meat’ element is okay, it doesn’t really salvage the dish.
And despite Ellen’s many viewings of the video, she couldn’t work out if Brooklyn made his own tomato sauce
I feel like I’m being harsh. As do the army of people who are upset that Brooklyn’s getting yet more flack for his cooking efforts.
After all, he doesn’t claim to be a ‘proper chef’.
In fact, in a recent interview with Bustle he said: ‘I’m not a professional chef – at all. I’ve never said that.
‘I never would say that’, adding: ‘It’s okay to be 25, 26, or even 30 and not know what you’re doing yet. You know what I mean?’
Ellen left the lasagne in the oven until the basil was burnt, but the vegan cheese hadn’t melted. Brooklyn didn’t leave any instructions in his recipe tutorial
But if someone’s sharing recipes online, it kind of suggests they’re trying to show us how to cook.
And if that’s what Brooklyn’s trying to do, we’d get a bit more than just over 60 seconds of a thrown together recipe, with no ingredients list, no quantities, steps missing and a whole lot of guesswork.
Instead, we get vague clues, shortcuts, and his own personal approval of his creation.
Which seems to suggest that Brooklyn is more about showing himself cooking than the cooking itself.
Fair enough, but learn from my mistakes and stick to looking – not cooking – with him.
Ellen said that the dish wasn’t as bad she thought it might be but it’s appearance didn’t bear much resemblance to a traditional lasagne
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