When I was a kid, it was always my job to make the Yorkshire Puddings for Sunday lunch – as a family, we really liked Yorky Puds, and so we had them with any roast. Not just beef.

One of the reasons we liked them so much is that I was a wizard with the batter – I’m really not being big-headed here, I was brilliant at them. Never a failure, and over the years I got to the stage where I never even had to measure out the ingredients.

But, somewhere along the way, something went wrong.

Over recent years, my Yorkshire Puds have flopped. I just haven’t been able to deliver. I’ve tried all sorts of different ‘foolproof’ recipes, all to no avail.

Last Sunday I was determined to nail it once and for all. I went back to my old recipe:

6oz plain flour
2 large eggs (1 will do if you like a drier, crustier pudding)
salt
about half a pint of milk (I use semi-skimmed) to make a thinnish batter

I heated some sunflower oil for 15 minutes in a baking tin in the oven with the roast – let’s not mess about with individual puddings – whacked up the temperature to 220 degC (gas 7) when I took the meat out. I put the tin on a ring on the hob and poured in the batter quickly. It sizzled a bit, but worryingly little.

Guess what?

The pudding puffed up to perfection. Light, crunchy on the outside, and soft (not soggy) on the inside.

It was simply the best Yorkshire I’ve cooked in years.

What made the difference?

My theory is I let the batter sit in the fridge for nearly an hour before cooking. I’d been listening to those people who tell me to leave it for just 15 or so minutes. Although I don’t think it’s time that’s the important thing; it’s getting the batter really cold, so there’s as much difference in temperature between the batter and the oil as you can get.

Now all I have to do is repeat my success a few times, and I’ll be back on the rails.