Thursday, 6 May 2010

I ♥ cornflakes!

I've never considered myself a huge fan of cornflakes (more of a cheerios girl) but when we finally got round to going to Hawksmoor for brunch last weekend it was the one thing I'd make up my mind that I was definitely having! Originally I was going to have a stout float as well but after a trip to the Brodies Pub I was partaking of a couple of weeks of sobriety!

Myself and Manny had perused the brunch menu endlessly and still hadn't decided what to order when we got there - and it took some time to decide, but thankfully the lovely waitress gave us plenty of time to choose. We had thought about sharing the breakfast but Manny didn't think I'd like the marrow and stuff so we opted not to - next time I will though, I have to be braver and if I don't like bits of it he can eat them and I can have pud! In the end I opted for the infamous burger and Manny decided to get the smoked bacon chop, thankfully not going through with his threat to ask for a half lobster on the side! (I was paying so who knew what he'd opt for - he was eyeing the steak weights with worrying excitement).

Our food took a little while to come but it was such a nice restaurant I didn't mind at all - and it's Sunday so I expect things to be a little more relaxed. Also, I had my new favouritist thing in the world to keep me company - my cornflake milkshake. Manny hadn't been as keen as me, but I ordered him one anyways as he loves milkshakes, and he was a bit apprehensive that he'd drink it, but alas he loved it. I was kinda wishing he wouldn't when I took my first sip of it cuz then I would've had an excuse to drink his. It was like heaven in a glass!!

The food arrived and just looking at it you knew it'd taste great! I made a boo-boo and forgot to ask for no pickle in my burger so had to pick that out (I really don't like pickle - I've tried to but I just don't!) but apart from that my burger was great, although I was a little disappointed in the bun. The burger was lovely and meaty and moist - just what you want from a burger. The fries were fabulous too and I didn't even put a bit of ketchup on them - they were too good to slather in sauce! Manny's smoked chop was lovely as well - I tried some of the trotter beans and really didn't like them - he however thought they were fabulous!

I was planning to have the cornflake ice cream as a pud but just couldn't manage more food, not a problem for Manny though who opted for the chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce - which he scoffed down with a giant smile on his face! I had a cappuccino which wasn't the best I've had but was passable, and hey they're not famous for their coffee! I got chatting to a lady in the loo who'd been taken there by her son for lunch and she highly recommended the sticky toffee pudding - she reckons it was the best she'd ever tasted so maybe that next time - with the cornflake ice cream on the side :)

Saturday, 1 May 2010

My favourite food porn

Is it wrong that I look at Kitchenaid Artisan Mixers in a way that I can only compare to how most teenage boys look at Jenna Jameson or whoever is the new porn star de jour?? With pure unadulterated lust. I want one, I must have one. I even go into stores like John Lewis and Selfridges and surreptitiously touch them. Ok that sentence made me sound a bit wrong, but I can't help it - I dare you to be in the vicinity of such awesome gorgeousness and not want to stroke it, swoon over it and hug it. I bet you can't! Only try and do it subtly - you don't want to end up being thrown out of the store!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Fix Coffee

A couple of years ago I found the perfect coffee shop, Coffee@ in Whitecross Street. They had other branches including two in Brick Lane but Whitecross was my favourite. I used to walk half an hour there from work to get a coffee, and if I felt greedy a Portugese custard tart (Pasteis de Nata) or cookie to go with it (I figured the walk had worked some calories off!). Then I'd melt into one of the sofas and read a lovely magazine while enjoying the best coffee London had to offer.

Then one day my little coffee shop closed. I went on a mini pilgrimage - venturing to Brick Lane at 9am one Sunday morning to check but alas they were no more. I stopped walking to Whitecross except to go to Waitrose and even then I didn't pass where Coffee@ used to be as it was too painful. Then I read on the net that a new coffee shop had opened there, called Fix. I checked their Facebook fan page and it looked exactly like Coffee@. Then the fantastic Sobo chocolate mentioned on twitter they stocked their wonderful cookies there and I knew I had to visit! I popped over today for lunch, cappuccino and a cookie and hurrah it's back!! The chandeliers, the lovely sofas and fabulous kitsch ornaments and best of all the fantastic coffee and lovely foods!!!!

You can check out my favourite coffee haunt and decide for yourself:
Fix Coffee
121 Whitecross Street, EC1Y 8JH

I recommend bringing a lovely book or magazine, grabbing an outside seat and sitting in the sun enjoying a coffee and a cookie!

Thanks to Fix Coffee for use of the interior pics from their Facebook page. The cappuccino and cookie pic is all my own work with my mobile phone!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

I ♥ macarons

For some time I've been meaning to make macarons as I LOVE them (especially those from Pierre Herme and Laduree). I even bought the book I ♥ Macarons by Hisako Ogita as it's a great step by step guide to making macarons (also it is pure food porn - the pictures make you want to eat macarons immediately).

So, after months of planning I finally got round to making macaron. I had planned to buy a food processor after being told they were a must for making them, however my kitchen is full and I figured I could give it a go with my 'stick' blender - and if they didn't work I could blame my lack of food processor!

Making macarons taught me one thing - I don't always read recipes properly.

I followed all the steps carefully - from the sifting of the almonds and icing sugar (blitzed with my stick blender which had previously been using mainly for soup and my katsu curry recipe) twice, to the process of macaronnage (carefully counting out loud how many times I scooped the batter to ensure I didn't go over 20 scoops!), leading to macaronner when my mixture became nicely firm. However as I didn't read ahead I couldn't make pink macs, as planned, as I should've added the colour to the meringue mixture pre-adding the almond mix. Then the mistake I thought had ended it for me. Rather than read how to pipe the macs properly I decided to make a swirl and do it my own way - this lead to me having to scrape them off the parchment and starting again. At this point I nearly gave up as I was sure I'd cocked it up but thought I should just bung them in the oven and see - so after re-piping properly, rapping the sheet on the worktop (to help me form the pied "foot"required to be macarons) and leaving them to dry for 30mins into the oven they went.

15 minutes later I was screaming through the house "I have feets, I have feets" (and the neighbours must have been thinking I was insane) as my macarons cooled. Once I got over my excitement and stopped grinning like the Cheshire cat I made some buttercream and flavoured it with some Bailey's and piped it into my macs and stood back and basked in their beauty!

Although I still prefer cupcakes I will definitely be making macarons again - next time expect some colour though :)