Big Egg Hunt

I was so excited to read about the start of The Big Egg Hunt in London – a collection of 200 eggs hidden around Central London designed and decorated by designers and artists, ‘hidden’ around central London. Some of you may remember my obsession with Elephant Parade in 2010 so of course I was ready to get involved!

I’ve spent the last 2 weeks looking around different areas of London for these eggs – maps were available but I had to find myself a little cheat sheet as the eggs weren’t so easy to find! It was lots of fun – and I got to discover so many parts of Central London that I didn’t know existed.

I managed to find about 150 of them in total out of 209 and below are some of my favourite ones:

Big names decorating the eggs include the Chapman Brothers, Marc Quinn, Zaha Hadid, Zandra Rhodes, Vivienne Westwood, Sir Peter Blake, Sir Ridley Scott and Bompas & Parr. The Big Egg Hunt was a plan hatched by Elephant Family and Action for Children for a record-breaking egg hunt across Central London to raise money for these two eggshell-ent causes!

It’s also sponsored by Fabergé and there is an opp to win Diamond Jubilee Egg by texting a unique code word which each egg holds.

Tiramisu time

I love Tiramisu and my friend at Spoonycakes has given the perfect and simple recipe on her blog….enjoy making this fab treat.

spoonycakes

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Woohoo, I got a new job 🙂 hence why I’ve been slacking on the blogging front, sorry but here is one recipe that I personally think could make anyone forgive me ;). Everyone loves a spoonful of this gorgeousness, make small shot glass portions as canapés for special occasions! Here’s how?

What you need:
125ml espresso, at room temperature
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 tablespoon cognac
2 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
pinch of salt
90g sugar, divided
250g mascarpone
70g ladyfingers
30g bittersweet chocolate
Cocoa powder, for serving

1) Mix together the espresso, rum, and cognac.
2) Using an electric whisk beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they begin to get stiff, then beat in half of the sugar. Scrape the egg whites into a small bowl.
3) In the same bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until stiff and light-colored…

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Doll’s House

The Doll’s House is a cute little cafe at the top of Harrow on the Hill and perfect for a catch up with the girls or taking your mum to for tea. A hidden jewel in Harrow, this is the Queen of quintessential British afternoon tea.

The owners claim dedication to the tradition of afternoon tea and they have gone all out to recreate every detail to make sure this place stay true to the British tradition with elegant crockery, the home-made food especially yummy cakes and scones and the rosy faced waitress.  I had my first ever VLT – veg sausage, lettuce and tomatoes (obv mine came without tomatoes as I don’t like them!!). There were also some interesting cake combinations – Mango and Cardoman, Lime and Pistachio which we didn’t try as the home-made scones and crumpets won but next time.
It’s children friendly but a little cramped so we weren’t allowed to bring in the pushchair to let my niece sleep in which was a shame. Also make sure you book a table if you are planning to go on the weekend. Tables seem to go like hot cakes and they are often fully booked up with queues going outside.
All in all a cute little place for a coffee and cake!

Airlines and food

Food and airlines seem to be the rage with Virgin Atlantic announcing its launch of High Tea at 35,000 ft due to consumer demand.

Last week British Airways announced a pop-up restaurant in Shoreditch called BA 2012.

My experience hasn’t been great with plane food and I tend to eat at the airport before boarding so would be interested in seeing these in action….

Chocolate cheesecake

Sometimes recipes don’t go to plan – I’m forever changing ingredients and experimenting but sometimes sticking to the original version is best as I found when making cheesecake.

Cheesecake is one of my dinner party deserts – takes 10 minutes and can be made the night before. BUT after being swayed by v good marketers I bought the new Cadbury chocolate Philadelphia cheese and added this instead of the plain one. It worked well but just didn’t taste like the cheesecake I’m used to and more like a mousse!

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The recipe I use is:

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Masterchef inspiration

So sad that Masterchef is over but many many congrats to Shelina as the winner of MasterChef who’s delicious dishes really did bring sunshine and mangos to her plates she created! She brought vibrant and tasty Mauritian cooking to British BBC viewers which has so many different styles of cooking including Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, French, African and Indian influencing it.

The 29-year-old became the second woman to win the title beat Andrew Kojima and Tom Rennolds in the final.

The winning menu:

Starter – Octopus served on marinated fennel, pickled ginger, sliced baby beetroot and carrots, tomato concasse; served with brown shrimp jelly; mango and apple vinegar; and tobiko (fish roe).

Main – Mutton curry with mustard seed and turmeric-marinated bone marrow; biryani rice; Swiss chard roulade stuffed with green banana pickle; and chilli pumpkin quenelle.

Dessert – Mango cannelloni filled with lime curd; coconut and rum blancmange; white chocolate and creme fraiche samosa; and mango jelly squares.

All recipes can be found on Shelina’s website.

Photo from Voice-Online.

Ottolenghi in Angel

I was so excited to take a book dinner at Ottolenghi in Islington. Having heard lots of good things about the restaurant and looked at many recipes from the chef: Yotam, it was one for my list.

Ottolenghi draws on a wealth of culinary traditions – with a focus on Mediterranean and lots of Vegetarian choices. On entering it seems like a deli, with lots of desserts sitting in the window & large platters of salads on the counter.

The menu is full of cold and hot tapas style dishes for sharing, all inventive yet simple food with lots of big favours and combinations for dinner with ingredients complimenting each other. The dishes combine surprising ingredients which sound odd but really work well together. The dishes are sort of tapas-style and perfect for sharing, which I find makes for a great meal. the more people you go with the better, because the more things you can try.

We ordered:

  • Roasted butternut squash with miso, cashews, spring onion, chilli, pickled ginger, wakame and sesame seeds
  • Haloumi and basil stuffed filo parcels with tahini and pistachio, mint and pomegranate relish
  • Chili infused beetroot with roasted red peppers, shaved pecorino, blood orange, walnuts and basil

And then there are the desserts from the front and on the menu. With a variety of meringues and cakes piled high on cake stands up at the front, there was so much to choose from – the white chocolate raspberry tart won our minds.
It is a little pricey but highly recommended just to taste how the flavours work together! If you really love food and tasting experiences, you will enjoy Ottolenghi.
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