Category Archives: Food

Ottolenghi Carrot and Walnut Cake

A cake containing vegetables for sure makes it healthy right? Well OK maybe I can’t promise that this Ottolenghi Carrot and Walnut Cake is completely guilt free, but I can promise that it is absolutely delicious. Me and my dad have both made this cake for several occasions and it’s always a winner.

image86 Ottolenghi Carrot and Walnut Cake image89 Ottolenghi Carrot and Walnut Cake

Ottolenghi Carrot and Walnut Cake

Ingredients:
160g plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground gloves
1 large egg plus another egg yolk
200g sunflower oil
260g caster sugar
50g walnuts, chopped
50g desiccated coconut
135g carrot, roughly grated
2 more egg whites
Pinch of salt

And for the frosting you will need;
175g cream cheese
70g butter, unsalted
25g honey
30g walnuts, chopped and lightly toasted

Method: 

Preheat oven to 170C and grease and line an 20cm cake tin.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and spices. In a separate little bowl bowl lightly whisk the whole egg with the egg yolk. In a big bowl beat oil and caster sugar a minute, then add beaten egg. Mix in the walnuts, coconut and carrot and then the sifted dry ingredients. Don’t over mix.

Whip the egg whites and salt (in squeaky clean bowl) till peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the carrot mixture in 3 additions, being careful not to over mix. Streaks of white in the mixture are okay. Pour the cake mixture into greased and lined tin and bake for about an hour. it could take longer. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out dry. If the cake starts getting dark before the centre is cooked through, cover it with foil. Let the cake cool completely and then remove from the tin.

To make the icing, beat the cream cheese in a mixer until light and smooth. Remove from the mixer. Beat the butter, icing sugar and honey in the mixer until light and airy. Fold together the cheese and butter mixes. Spread waves of icing on top of the cake and sprinkle with the toasted nuts.

image88 Ottolenghi Carrot and Walnut Cake

I know the cake has a few extra steps (like the egg whites) but this really makes the cake that little bit more amazing. It’s rich but light and super moist and the frosting combination of cream cheese, butter and honey is out of this world. Trust me, make this cake and enjoy yourself some vegetable goodness ;)

  
Leave a comment | Posted in Baking, Food, Lifestyle

Hereford Road Restaurant, Bayswater / Notting Hill

A little while back I had a great evening with friends at Hereford Road in Bayswater. This restaurant is a real local gem because it serves simple yet innovative British comfort food, has friendly and efficient service and reasonable prices. Tom Pemberton, former head chef at St Johns has cooked at Hereford Road since its opening in 2007. Don’t expect anything hip and trendy here – it’s a lovely low-key local, perfect for a dinner with friends or family in a nice environment with quality flavourful food. The menu at Hereford changes daily and dishes are reasonably priced from £6-£8 for starters and £10-£15.5 for mains.  Also, there is a great value set lunch for £13.50 for 2 and £15.5 for 3 courses.

Chef and co-founder Tom Pemberton remarks, “It seems to me the area lacks a strong neighbourhood restaurant. Our main priority is to provide genuinely high quality, interesting and affordable British food in a relaxed environment.”

Here some photos of our evening at Hereford Road in Notting Hill…

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As soon as you enter Hereford Road you stumble across the open kitchen and some casual small tables that are perfect for a casual drink and dinner for two. And then down a small flight of stairs is the main dining room, that is light due to a large skylight. It was a very relaxed vibe and seating wise has large red leather banquettes or 2 – 4 person sized tables.

We started off with some wine, freshly baked bread (nom nom) and some starters; the Globe artichoke with vinaigrette and the Crab with English Tomatoes and Pea Shoots.

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For mains we went for a nice selection of different meats! Little fact; before Hereford Road was a restaurant there was actually a butchers in this location.  We had the Braised Rabbit with Fennel and Bacon // The Guinea Fowl with Lentils and peas // The Roast Leg of Lamb with Chard and Anchovy // and the Blythburg Pork Belly with Runner Beans and roast Red Onion.

image77 Hereford Road Restaurant, Bayswater / Notting Hill image78 Hereford Road Restaurant, Bayswater / Notting Hill image79 Hereford Road Restaurant, Bayswater / Notting Hill image80 Hereford Road Restaurant, Bayswater / Notting Hill

They were all delicious. I had the lamb which it was perfectly cooked and the salty anchovies flavour accompanied the meat very well. But think I did have slight food envy for the pork belly – that definitively looked and tasted amazing.

Then some of us couldn’t resist a cheeky dessert, yes…I was one of those people! I had the chocolate pot with cherries and creme fraiche, oh so yummy – and my friend had the Eton Mess which is simple but sometimes you can’t beat fruit, cream and meringue goodness.

image84 Hereford Road Restaurant, Bayswater / Notting Hill image83 Hereford Road Restaurant, Bayswater / Notting Hill

Overall a great night at a lovely bistro in Notting Hill / Baywater!

Hereford Road
3 Hereford Road,
Notting Hill, London
W2 4AB
Tel: +44(0)207 727 1144
www.herefordroad.org

  
2 Comments | Posted in Food, Lifestyle, London, Restaurants

Roasted Butternut Squash and Chorizo Salad

Summer evenings call for healthy salad dinners and this Roasted Butternut Squash and Chorizo Salad is one I’ve been loving the recently. The sweetness of the cinnamon roasted butternut squash with the spicy chorizo makes a delicious combination. Looks pretty tasty doesn’t it? Check out the easy recipe below!

image108 Roasted Butternut Squash and Chorizo Salad image109 Roasted Butternut Squash and Chorizo Salad

Roasted Butternut Squash and Chorizo Salad

Ingredients:
1 medium sized butternut squash (or pumpkin will work perfectly too)
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Ground cinnamon
Chorizo (I used a pre-diced pack but you can also just dice it up yourself)
1 medium sized zucchini
2-3 handfuls baby spinach leaves
A few pecorino shavings to garnish (optional)
Balsamic Vinegar (or vinaigrette if you prefer this)

Method:
Pre heat oven to 190C.  Prepare your squash by chopping it into big chunks – with your without skin, depending on preference. Place them on a baking tray and drizzle over just enough olive oil to coat the squash, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with some ground cinnamon. Give it a good hustle and pop it in the hot oven for about 20-25 min until the squash is nicely roasted (and soft).

While the squash is roasting in the oven, heat up your grill or frying pan over a medium heat and fry the diced (or sliced) chorizo for a couple of minutes on each side. You don’t need to add any oil because of the fat in the sausage already. When done, drain on kitchen paper to remove any excess oil. While the pan is still hot also grill/fry some sliced zucchini until cooked, they don’t need long as you don’t want them too soft.

When the roasted squash is ready place it in a large bowl, add the chorizo, zucchini, fresh baby spinach leaves and gently mix them all together. Top with a few shavings of pecorino (optional) & drizzle over some balsamic vinegar.

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This salad is a great light meal on its own but also would be perfect as part of a BBQ. It’s got that lovely mix of sweet, spicy and fresh and so easy to prepare. Do you like the look of this Roasted Butternut Squash and Chorizo Salad? Let me know what you think if you end up making it!

  
1 Comment | Posted in 80/20 Diet, Food, Lifestyle, Recipe

Berners Tavern – The London EDITION Hotel

Berners Tavern is one of the restaurants opened last year by chef and restaurateur Jason Atherton. In London alone he’s responsible for Pollen Street Social, Social Eating House, Little Social, City Social and the Typing Room. I haven’t actually been to any of these before but have read many good reviews and his food can be described as modern British. Berners Tavern had been high on my to-go-to list ever since it opened so when it was my 30th birthday back in August I felt this would be perfect occasion to have my celebration dinner here with my parents and one of my best friends.

Berners Tavern is located in The London EDITION Hotel in London’s Fitzrovia, with the all day dining restaurant seating up to 140 covers within a grand dining room. The dining room is visually stunning with its very high ceiling and walls covered with framed art – very nice!

image15 Berners Tavern   The London EDITION Hotel image16 Berners Tavern   The London EDITION Hotel image18 Berners Tavern   The London EDITION Hotel

Under the direction of Michelin starred chef Jason Atherton, the menu offers contemporary British food that is simple yet elegant and executed beautifully. We started off with a bottle of wine and some bread while we browsed over the menu.

image20 Berners Tavern   The London EDITION Hotel image21 Berners Tavern   The London EDITION Hotel

For starters we had the: Aged beef tartare, wild garlic, salsa verde, chopped duck egg and croutons £13.50 // Charred Corning mackerel, fennel carrot and orange salad, romesco sauce and toasted almonds £12 // Middle white pork and pistachio, pear and saffron chutney and toasted sourdough £11.50.

image22 Berners Tavern   The London EDITION Hotel image29 Berners Tavern   The London EDITION Hotel image23 Berners Tavern   The London EDITION Hotel

All very delicious! For mains we had the; Chargrilled Dingley Dell pork chop, pickled kohlrabi, apple and chicory salad, bramley apple and colman’s mustard puree, crispy cheek £24 // Roasted Goosnargh chicken, BBQ spiced chicken tigh, sage and onion, butters gnocchi and heritage carrots £23 // Cornish cod, Borlotti bean, courgette and chorizo ‘minestrone’, piquillo peper £22.50 // Grass fed british steak cooked on their Josper grill, served with triple cooked chips, salad and a choice of béarnaise or peppercorn sauce (sirloin £30)

image24 Berners Tavern   The London EDITION Hotel image25 Berners Tavern   The London EDITION Hotel image26 Berners Tavern   The London EDITION Hotel image27 Berners Tavern   The London EDITION Hotel

I had the pork which the waiter recommended and it was divine! We were pretty full after all that food but I find it hard to resist dessert and seeing it was my birthday I decided to get the Scottish raspberry pavlova, vanilla cream with red wine and raspberry granite (£8) and shared it with my dad. When I first looked at the dessert options nothing actually screamed out at me but the pavlova was very nice and think that would have probably been the case with the other desserts too.

image28 Berners Tavern   The London EDITION Hotel

Overall we had a great time at Berners. The setting is beautiful, the food is delicious and the service impressive. For a nice and special evening out I’d say Berners Tavern is hard to beat! If you’re up for a bigger night out then after dinner you can continue to enjoy a drink at the Bar or head to the Punch Room next door at the London EDITION Hotel for a cocktail or two :)

image30 Berners Tavern   The London EDITION Hotel image17 Berners Tavern   The London EDITION Hotel

Have you tried Berners Tavern or one of Jason Atherton’s other restaurants yet?

BERNERS TAVERN
10 Berners Street,
London W1T 3NP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7908 7979
www.bernerstavern.com

  
2 Comments | Posted in Food, Lifestyle, London, Restaurants

Brunch at Hally’s Parsons Green

Going out for brunch is probably one of my favourite past-times in the weekend, so I love finding out about new good places to visit. One of these new places I recently was told about is Hally’s Parsons Green. Hally’s opened in June 2013 on New Kings Road and says it’s a “A Californian-inspired hangout– all about innovative, fresh food, expertly-made coffee & a relaxed vibe.” So this long weekend I braved it through the rain and wind on my bike (and got soaked in the process) to meet some friends for brunch at Hally’s. I was told it was “epic” so as you can imagine I had high expectations.

Turns out a lot of people seem to think it is epic because there was a bit of a wait to get a table when we got there, but we were able to shelter from the rain inside and the staff was friendly in looking after us to get us a table as soon as possible. I love the casual, white and beach house style design of the café and don’t even get me started on those pastel paint-dipped vintage style chairs.

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Hally’s Parsons Green is open Monday to Sunday 8am to 6pm and during the week they serve breakfast daily from 8am and lunch from 12 to 4pm. However of course I was there for the main event that is their weekend brunch. Their (8am-4pm) brunch menu changes weekly is full of great dishes like; healthy granola, eggs benedict, american pancakes, smoked salmon with cream cheese and of course a full breakfast. We got coffee, fresh mint tea and fresh juices while we caught up and made our mind up on what to eat.

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In the end we all had the same food craving. Can you guess? Yep…. it was the avocado on sourdough with chilli, lemon and rocket that we all wanted. However we were hungry girls so we added some sides!

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….just to prove there was a-whole-lot of avocado underneath that rocket salad!

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Mine was with the poached eggs and chorizo. Amelia had the same but with bacon instead of chorizo and Krystle got her eggs scrambled and also with chorizo! The rocket salad on top of the avocado was really refreshing and we were all amazed by how orange the egg yolks were – think that means they are very organic/free range eggs which is nice!  We probably didn’t need all those extra sided but oh boy was it tasty :)

We had a fabulous time at Hally’s and think I will definitely be back to try some of the other dishes on the menu! Have you been to this little brunch/lunch gem in Parsons Green yet? Check it out – it’s epic ;)

Hally’s
60 New Kings Road
Parsons Green
London, SW6 4LS
www.hallysparsonsgreen.com

  
Leave a comment | Posted in Brunch, Food, Lifestyle, London, Restaurants