Sunday 9 November 2014

Cherry Bakewell Slices

At school, I was part of a group of friends, whom I love to bits, but where just the most picky eaters. One didn't eat pork, one didn't eat beef, one didn't like vegetables and the other was allergic to nuts. So every time we had a sleepover, we had margarita pizza. 

And a massive box of celebrations, of course :)

But I do feel sorry for the nut allergy sufferers, because ground almonds make the best cake. That sort of dense, fudgy texture with that smell of slightly toasted almond....coupled with cherry jam and drizzled with icing sugar....served with a cup of tea and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Aka.... cherry bakewell! (Tea and ice cream optional but encouraged).

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

As a restaurant named one of the top 10 restaurants in the world, as well as having a celebrity chef renowned for this quirky inventions and scientific experiments with food, I was so looking forward to Dinner. It’s actually easier to book than you think, and with some three or four months of advance planning (for the OCD like me), some furious mouse action, and the help of Opentable, you can get an 8pm Saturday reservation.

Sunday 5 October 2014

Despicable Me Minions Bento Box

The best part of Despicable Me? Definitely the minions.

And as I was googling around to find out some more about them, I found out that...

...there's going to a Minions film! 

Coming in summer 2015.


For those of you who have read my blog for a while, you may know that I used to love making bento boxes (you can see some on the right). For those of you that are new (hello!), they are a popular Japanese lunch box, and often parents prepare children's ones with rice shaped like cartoon characters, with vegetables and fruit to decorate.

Sunday 3 August 2014

Champagne Heart Cake

So this is my attempt at one of The Great British Bake Off's Showstopper Cakes! It's a vanilla sponge cake, with champagne flavoured icing which are iced to look like roses, with a "secret" pink marzipan centre.

Now try saying that with your mouth full of cake :)

I have to admit, this is probably one of the most difficult and most technical cakes I've ever made. It took me forever, but it was worth it!

Oh, and its finished with a sprinkling of edible pink glitter, of course.

Thursday 17 July 2014

Restaurant 360, Dubrovnik, Croatia

When we arrived in Dubrovnik, we asked our taxi driver about the more famous Restaurant Nautika what he thought of it and his reply was "oh, it's for old people and politicians", but when we asked about Restaurant 360 the reply came "ah, that's a lovely restaurant, it's cooler and for young people!" 

And because, you know, we're hip and kosher (at least I think that's what the cool kids say these days) we decided on Restaurant 360. Thanks Mr Taxi Driver!

So the entire restaurant is literally inside the city walls, you eat on top of the walls with a panoramic view of Dubrovnik (hence the name...). It's all very cosy and romantic and posh without being stuffy, which we really liked.

Would we come back? Definitely! Think worth a flight to Croatia just for this restaurant :)

Wednesday 2 July 2014

Dubrovnik. The city of blue skies, clear seas, and a whole lot of seafood.

This is the view from our hotel room balcony. It was beautiful. We literally got there, ran on to the balcony, and took a deep breath of lovely fresh sea air. 

And I thought...

Hey, I could get used to this.

Dubrovnik is a coastal town (and one of the most visited detonations) in Croatia, where you're right on the coast of the Adriatic. 

And you know what this means? 


I did wonder if at some point I was starting to grow gills from all of this seafood. Even if I did, it would have been so worth it. 

Monday 30 June 2014

Taste of London 2014

If you are a Londoner, you might have seen the posters advertising Taste of London everywhere. But I didn't need any persuading. I was totally there.

For non-Londoners, Taste is one of the biggest food festivals where loads of top restaurants (I MET MICHEL ROUX) and food producers come together and exhibit their dishes / products (which are all available to buy), which range from Scotch eggs to spicy Korean marinade to gourmet gin & tonic flavoured popcorn. 

It was awesome, I only wish the event was open longer...

Did I mention that I met Michel Roux?

So the day went something like this...

Sunday 29 June 2014

Strawberry, Lime And Basil No-Bake Cheesecake

I have to admit, I've been off the cake market for some time. I'm not having a cake affair, I promise (I am not cheating on cake with vegetables!), but I have been busy with exams and work and the like.

Cake, will you be my best friend again??

I've entered my recipe into the Rix Aga Inspired Recipes Competition for June! The theme this month is strawberries, so I think I'm in pretty good shape here :) 

Sunday 25 May 2014

Restaurant A. Wong, London Victoria

Raise your hand if you like dim sum. No, the prawn toast doesn't count. Put the prawn toast down. Good.

Aahh...dumplings. Now we're talking :D

This dim sum post kicks of a series of restaurant related posts I've got coming up. I haven't found the time to bake very much in the lead up to this exam I have in June (I've somewhat called it a "baking ban" I'm going on but I think that's just a paraphrase of "gotten a bit lazy and time constrained"). However, I have remained to find the time to eat, whoop whoop! Which, you know, is great.

Moving on to restaurant A Wong. It's a small restaurant just off Victoria station which, in my opinion, looks a bit takeaway-ey from the outside, but in the inside it's an oasis of dim sum related well cooked and beautifully presented upmarket Chinese food. I came here with my boyfriend a few weeks back after hearing some pretty damn good reviews. We were not disappointed, hurray!

Monday 7 April 2014

Easter bunny frosted lemon & orange Pimm's cake (with step-by-step instructions)

Did you give up anything for Lent? My housemate and I decided to do coffee (her) and chocolate (me), and whilst I was all "yeah as if you'd be able to go without caffeine for two months muahaha".... it turned out I couldn't go without cocoa for two days.

But I digress. This easter cake has no chocolate. It's orange and lemon and teeny bit of Pimm's in it, because, why not, and spring is almost (sort of) here (sometimes)! Hurrah!

However, the ingredients do call for a large quantity of icing sugar. Like, about 2 kg of the stuff.

Two days later, I've still got the sugar shakes.

*shakes about the room a little*

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Galvin at Windows, London Mayfair

I really like French restaurants. I like the fact that there are always table cloths on the tables, the waiters are (usually) oh so oh-la-la and the food is (mostly) excellent.

Galvin at Windows falls into all of those categories, and I know that this place has been blogged to death but wait till you see the last photo, I promise to put a caffine induced smile on your face. 

Also, another thing I've been doing lately is observing the quality of the cutlery at every eating establishment. Yes, I know it's weird when the girl next to you picks up her knife and fork and starts weighing and tapping them but ever since I bought my flat I've been furniture obsessed, with kitchen stuff at the top of the list. 
 Galvin at Windows had good sturdy forks. I approve.

Booking in advance pretty essential here. I booked with my boyfriend for about a month later for lunch, and we used a LivingSocial deal which was £40 for two courses from a set menu and 2 glasses of wine. Pretty brilliant I'd say! We got some coffees and drinks and with service it came to about £30 a head which for a Michelin star restaurant is great value.

Plus the view...oh the view, c'est magnifique!

Monday 27 January 2014

Paul Hollywood's Chelsea Buns

So as some of you may know, and some of you may not, and some of you may not care, I've entered to the Great British Bake Off 2014. 

I even got through to the phone interview round! But I totally freaked out when they called me ("what?! You want to talk to me?! Yes I can talk about baking I love cakes I want to eat cakes all day I've been baking for 7 years my parents don't like cake but it's okay because people at work do did I mention I love cakes wowweeee!" "Erm, thanks Xinmei".) 

Paul and Mary, at the very least I hope you'd be proud of these chelsea buns. 

(You can find the recipe here, or below.)

Friday 17 January 2014

The Reach Bar & Kitchen, East London

Did you know that we have Cyprus in London? Yeah, there's a Cyprus on the DLR! Sun and sand is closer than you think. Except in this Cyprus I suppose you'd have to make do with Sun(days) and sand (dust). 

But anyway, one stop away from Cyprus, in E16, is The Reach Bar & Kitchen, a newly opened cosy little gastropub set in a old grade (I or II) listed building, which looks rather picturesque set by the Thames swooshing away.

Being in the location that it is, I think this pub is better then the clientele that it serves. On the other side of London, or Shoreditch (I get a bit of a Shoreditch vibe to it), it would have been perfect. Which is a shame, because I really liked The Reach :-)

Saturday 4 January 2014

Baileys Chocolate Brownies

What did you get for Christmas?


I got fat.