Tag Archives: restaurants

Baileys Chocolat Pop Up

20 Sep

Baileys, usually a creaming, slightly coffee-tasting drink that i LOVE served on the rocks, or even adding to my baking experiments! But this week, thanks to Who’s Jack, I became one of the lucky few to visit the Baileys Chocolat Luxe pop up in Covent Garden. As most of you know, i’m a HUGE chocoholic, so this really was a dream come true for me!

Chocolate Wonderland

Chocolate Wonderland

We entered through a piece of art created specially for the event, this definitely added to the “WOW” factor and made us even more excited!

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We walked through another art installation and into the bar area, a dream of chocolate and gold, even a tree dripping with whisks!

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After a few minutes, curtains at the back of the room opened to reveal two long tables, and we were invited to take our seats! First course was ready and waiting for us, fresh from the sea and served on ice. The food was presented to us and explained that everything was designed to compliment the Baileys chocolat drink.

Fresh and satisfying!

Fresh and satisfying!

Our plates were cleared and as we waited for mains to be served, it was explained that they were going to be “reactive plating” and all of a sudden the chefs appeared, and started plating up the food right in front of us, on the table! With swirls and flourished they added sauces, delicately placing the other elements on and around the design, randomly reacting to whatever chef had come before. We were encouraged to ask about each element, and we did. The beautifully pickled radishes were my favourite, their sharpness in contract to the wonderfully sweet damson sauce.

The finished "plating!"

The finished “plating!”

You can see on my Twitter account a few Vines I created of the plating process. After we ate our fill from the table, we were invited back into the back for dessert. This was of course my favourite – a medley of chocolate and creamy dessert. My favourite was the triangle of choca-mocha cake, followed closely by the intensely rich bailey chocolat truffle.

Insane dessert

Insane dessert

We rounded off the evening with our own taste of Baileys Chocolat Luxe, served on the rocks with a raspberry. This drink was a DREAM, and I couldn’t get enough, even trying to ply the bartender for seconds!

See the swirl?!

See the swirl?!

A huge thanks goes out to the team at Baileys, for a fantastic and unforgettable dining experience! The team at Blanch and Shock couldn’t have been more welcoming and helpful, they truly gave us a fantastic evening! Now I just have to go and get my own bottle for another taste, and even to create some baked goods! Im thinking Baileys Chocolat cheesecake, or even a Cronut!

What would you make?

Innocent Inspires

22 Aug

So, this is a totally late post (sorry!) but I went to an awesome event last week run by Innocent – the drinks company.

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I had such a great time, hearing from people at the top of the foodie industry. It was so inspiring to hear stories such as Ollie Dabbous, who has become one of the youngest michlelin starred chefs. It was great to hear so many stories of ordinary people achieving their dream, especially as I’d love to open my own bakery one day (wishful thinking!)

Ollie Dabbous

Ollie Dabbous

We heard from others who have become leaders in Taste, that magical combination of not just food, but something else as well, something you can’t describe to create something magical.

Sam Bompas did just that, creating edible works of art form jelly, and even an edible explosion!

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Were were provided with some tasty culinary creations, a favourite from Florence Knight of Polpetto, with a pepper and toffee ice cream, served with peaches.

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One such culinary delight I did not partake in was the marmite bloody mary by Ms Marmite Lover… not really my taste! (But inventive nonetheless!)

Not for everybody's palette...

Not for everybody’s palette…

Another talk I found interesting was from Emilie Baltz, who talked of using sensory triggers to eke out the taste of foods, and I enjoyed her quirky take on food and taste combinations.

Fig and vanilla

Fig and vanilla

 

All in all it was a fantastic evening with some brilliant speakers and of course some great food (which is obviously never enough!) and I can’t thank Innocent enough for hosting. I will definitely be going to their next session on Creativity, which looks to be another corker!

 

Chocolate Masterclass

15 Apr

Morning Bakers, Makers and foodie in-takers! Hope you’re well on this lovely sunny morning. I’ve had a bit of a break the past few weeks due to some family stuff, but i’m back now (well at least until I jet off on holiday at the end of the week!)

I am part of the Lurpak #BakeClub and won last month’s chocolate challenge with my Speculoos Brownies, so my prize was to attend a chocolate masterclass with the lovely Lily Vanilli.

Me @ Lily's

Me @ Lily’s

We started off the day with a demo from Lily herself, how to make the filling to her delectable chocolate truffles.

Lily giving us a demo

Lily giving us a demo

We could choose to flavour the filling any way we wanted, with flavours ranging from boozy absinthe to delicate lavender. I went with a relatively simple filling, since I loved the array of toppings and wanted a filling that would go well with everything, so I ended up making a salted brown butter ganache. Whilst the ganache refrigerated  we sampled some toppings and asked Lily lots of questions as she baked us some of her fabulous chocolate cookies!

So many toppings!

So many toppings!

After waiting for what seemed like an age, it was finally time to coat and top our truffles! We scooped the truffles into little balls, and after a second batch of refrigeration, they were ready to coat and top with whatever we wanted!

Truffle madness!

Truffle madness!

We tried with some of Lily’s “I made it earlier” truffle balls first, then dived into our own. Whilst most people went for a uniform look for their truffles, I went slightly crazy and developed my own “Monster Truffles” as I named them! Large in size and covered in an array of glitters and toppings, I went for a mad eclectic look!

Monster truffles!

Monster truffles!

Edible silver

Edible silver

Mine... all mine!

Mine… all mine!

These were a resounding success and thoroughly enjoyed by all my family! A huge thanks to Lurpak and Lily for a brilliant afternoon and one I will remember for ages!

 

Tate and Lyle Tasting House

20 Mar

Last night felt like a dream, wandering through corridors of edible goodies, picking Macarons off banisters and eating pillows, taking bites out of a popcorn bath and picking apart a meringue rug….

But I wasn’t in a dream, I was in the Tate and Lyle Tasting House!

Enter into the tasting house

Enter into the tasting house

We were greeted with an array of macarons, covering the bannisters and every windowsill in sight!

Macaron Bannisters

Macaron Bannisters

 

Macarons displays ripe for the tasting!

Macarons displays ripe for the tasting!

The British golden syrup room was a wondrous display of golden syrup, one of my favourite baking ingredients.

Its the Golden Syrup lion!

Its the Golden Syrup lion!

Doughnut Tower

Doughnut Tower

 

Very Beritish Baking

Very British Baking

 

The second room we entered was the Pirates of the Carribean room, with a huge treasure chest made out of gingerbread! We spray painted our own gold doubloons, sampled the chocolate rum and raisin delights, and feasted on mountains of jewelled sweets!

An edible treasure chest of goodies

An edible treasure chest of goodies

An edible sword!

An edible sword!

Next we entered into the Mediterranean bedroom of delights, which might have been my favourite room!

Meringue rug of the sweetest, most delicious meringues I have ever tasted!

Meringue rug of the sweetest, most delicious meringues I have ever tasted!

 

Bath of caramel popcorn

Bath of caramel popcorn

 

Lustrous popcorn cupcakes

Lustrous popcorn cupcakes

From there, we entered into room of different edible delights, including a huge edible turtle, with real eggs filled with cake!

Turtle and eggs, all edible!

Turtle and eggs, all edible!

 

One of my favourite pieces was the 5 foot long Mardi Gras rainbow cake, so delicious I couldn’t tear myself away!

Taste the rainbow

Taste the rainbow

And the Easter Island mud cake statue!

Take a bite...

Take a bite…

Probably tying for my favourite room was the Mayan room, with a temple of fudge and delicious chocolate goodies, including a white chocolate heart filled with the gooiest salted caramel.

I worship your Sweetness!

I worship your Sweetness!

I genuinely had one of the best evenings of my life, and cant thank enough my buddies over at Tate and Lyle, Mischief PR and my lovely friend Gemma at GG Closet for getting me in to this wonderland!

I only wish I had some of the recipes for these amazing creations!

Foodie Weekend

26 Feb

We all need a night off from blogging and baking, even me! So last weekend, I went to Marlow for a night of R&R, and of course lots of food!

We stayed at the Crowne Plaza and decided to upgrade to a club room for a treat. This meant we had some wine and canapes before we headed out, which was a nice treat. In our room we had biccies, a kit kat and the usual tea, coffee and hot chocolate, as well as some bottled water which was a nice touch.

For dinner we booked the Marlow Bar & Grill, because it’s extensive menu caught my eye! We started with a mezze for 2, the highlight being the gorgeous squash fritters. I accompanied this with a gorgeous pomegranate cocktail that went down far too easily!

Cocktails ahoy!

Cocktails ahoy!

We were too caught up to take many food photos, but I had a gorgeous chargrilled tuna steak (rare of course) with chips and spinach, whilst the boy opted for a thai green curry which he definitely enjoyed!

To finish we had the house macarons which were enjoyable but unfortunately nothing special.

For breakfast the next day we had the hotel buffet, which was very extensive. I even had a 3 course breakfast! I started with breads, pastries and cheeses, moved onto hot with eggs, mushrooms and a hash brown, and finished with cereal!

To walk all that food off, we left the hotel and went for a lovely but cold walk by the Thames.

Beautiful views

Beautiful views

We left the hotel after a late checkout and wandered round the centre of Marlow, one lovely little high street. We ended our visit with tea at Burgers, a lovely little tea room opposite the park.

High tea!

High tea!

A fab end to a foodie weekend! Do you have anywhere foodie you like to visit?

The best cupcake in London

15 May

It’s that question that’s been bugging me ever since I became obsessed with making my own cupcakes… who makes the best cupcake in London?

I’ve decided to document this journey and add in all my comments and try to taste test from all the good bakeries.

First up: Lola’s Cupcakes – I’ve tried these quite a lot, having them so close to work and not being able to resist! I’ve long been a fan of theirs and today I tried a custard cream cupcake, and it was yummy. I tend to find store-bought cupcakes slightly dry as they have been sitting out for most of the day, and this cupcake was slightly dry, however the custard filling inside definitely helped keep it moist. The buttercream on top was nice however ot exceptional. A good all round cupcake for custard lovers.

Overall I give this cupcake a 7/10 as it was nice but not groundbreaking!

Where shall I review next? Suggestions welcome!