On our second day I made sure we headed to one of those cute restaurants on main street for some al-fresco breakfast… we picked the Anderson Danish Bakery… 

I love the perfect red roses on each table.

I went inside and met one of the bakers and to ooooo and ahhhh over all the cakes. There were so many and they all looked amazing.

They also make their own jam, which you can buy to take home.

I imagine the whole of Santa Barbara gets their birthday cake from here. 

The strawberry tarts looked so good, and I got a taste of one. I wished right then that I had picked one of those for breakfast. 

 

The inside is sickly sweet. I loved it! 

We both ordered the french toast… before which we were given two baskets of baguette and 2 scones (!), who eats pre-breakfast scones!

Turns out we do… we gave it our best shot anyway, then this came out…

Ridiculous. See why we spent the rest of the day riding bikes? (and skipping lunch) That was some breakfast.

And this is it at night, open for dinner. We heard so many accents while we are here, I imagine from Danish people.

 The Anderson’s Danish Bakery

Skip breakfast and go for cake!

You all know I love Lahloo Tea… and it’s Pantry so I won’t go on too much in this post (but seriously have you been yet?)

But I do love them even more after they invited me to their new menu tasting evening…

 

Until recently I pretty much always had the same thing at the Pantry, sometimes wavering to try a new cake, but on my last trip for my God-daughters birthday we all had afternoon tea and it was great, of course. It’s quite different to the normal sandwiches and scones combo so is great if you’ve been there done that.

On this evening they had made cocktails with their tea… my Husband drank bloody mary’s made with their Smoky tea all night…

While I drank rum punch made with White Whisper tea (I think!), delicious. They also served a non-alcoholic cocktail made with Snow Jewel tea.

 

We sat and mingled and the lovely Lahloo lady’s brought round bits and pieces to try.

Our favourite; the rarebit with tomato jam. We ate quite a few of these.

 

A lovely courgette and Homewoods Cheese frittata.

Another one of my favourite, why I didn’t eat more of these I don’t know… homemade jammy dodgers. 100 times better than the ‘real’ thing.

 

Rose and pistachio marshmallows. You should all know how I feel about anything rose by now. (Love)

And so you can see how lovely the set afternoon tea is here is the spread from my Go-daughters birthday…

Artichoke Mousse, Herb Pancake filled with Homewood Cheese’s Ewe’s (such a great idea) and Old Spot Sausage Roll with the tomato jam again. These are the don dadda of sausage rolls. I ate lots of these on both occasions.

 And the sweet stuff! A mini Raspberry and Earl Grey Tart, Lemon Posset (a favourite of mine) with a Matcha biscuit and more of those perfectly soft marshmallows.

All little bites and perfectly formed, and all incorporating their amazing tea. You will leave satisfied not stuffed to the brim.

Their tea menu will be changing monthly, and I will be going back in August for their Matcha menu for sure, it my new obsession.

Lahloo Pantry – Clifton Village, Bristol

Once again thank you for the invitation, any time you need more menus tasted I’ll be there in a flash!

Espresso Cafe, Oamaru

July 16, 2012

The kind of neighbourhood cafe I would love near me…

Pretty on the outside with some chairs in case of sunshine.

With so many tasty treats inside and a handy tap in reach of customers.

I really want to make something like this, how cool does that look?

Great coffee, and proper cappuccino’s.

I had a savoury scone. Again I really want to make these, I have made cheese scones tons of times but I’ve never gone further than that. I really need to do this.

This one had a little cream cheese surprise. Love that.

My husband got the tortilla stack… it was served with some smoky chilli jam and was delicious. Such a colourful meal, this would be great to bring to a BBQ and see everyone got ahhhh when you cut through it.

 Espresso is in Omaru, a town we drove through you can read more about this crazy steampunk place at You Make Me Swoon

A little recommendation for a casual Queenstown cafe today… this place was right by the lake and we sat out in the sun drinking ginger beer here a couple of times.

The cafe itself was super cute.

I loved the lighting.

The fridges were always full of tasty treats, so hard to pick.

A favourite treat…

The burrito was so great, veggies and sour cream.

And a chocolate brownie.

This town is full of good places to eat but this one had lots of vegan, vegetarian and healthy options and was cheap.

Vudu Cafe 

My full Queenstown post is here

One of our wedding gifts from our friends was some cookery school vouchers with The Square Food Foundation, we didn’t get around to starting to use them until now.

I booked us onto the Spice Trail evening for a date night…

The kitchen is a big light space with enough cookery stations for people to pair up.

We sat with the chefs first while they talked a little about chillies and spices. Here are some points they raised… most of you will know these but I thought I would include them anyway.

Chillies;

  • The general rule of thumb is that the smaller the chilli the more potent it is; the heat is concentrated in the seeds and the veins of the chilli (simply because they are smaller)
  • Remove seeds from chillies to make them milder for cooking or leave them in to gain full effect
  • Take care when preparing chilli to avoid touching the eyes and sensitive skin; wash hands, boards and knives thoroughly after preparing chillies – wash with soap before adding water, as chillies are oily this will remove the heat.
  • Chilli powder dried chillies are used sparingly and should be added at the beginning of cooking; they will keep for 12 months in a cool, dark place
  • Cooking does not really diminish the intensity of chillies but their strength can be mitigated with cream or yoghurt

And spice;

  • Spices like cinnamon, cardamom, mustard seed, coriander, cumin, tumeric & fenugreek should be added at the early stages of cooking to release flavour
  • Salt is vital for carrying flavour and should be added at the beginning of the cooking process; check the seasoning at the end of the cooking and adjust

We made 2 dishes and ate 3, 1 Thai influenced, one Indian influenced and a dessert.

First we started our main;

A quick chicken curry with yogurt and spices

This is a really tasty alternative to the greasy take away you might have eaten if you’d had slightly less energy. I like to serve it with a little yoghurt and naan bread for an inexpensive, warming meal.

Serves 4-5

For the curry base
¾in ginger, peeled
6 fat garlic cloves, peeled
3 medium tomatoes, chopped into large chunks
1½ tbsp ground coriander
1¼ tsp garam masala
¼-½ tsp red chilli powder, or more if you like it hot
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
3 good tbsp of full-fat Greek yoghurt
Salt to taste

For the curry

750g chicken thighs, skinned
7 baby potatoes, peeled and quartered
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp ghee or unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 handfuls of baby spinach
Handful of finely chopped coriander leaves and stems

 For the base, make a paste of the ginger, garlic and tomatoes. I use a hand blender, but you can chop the tomatoes and finely grate the ginger and garlic – the sauce will not be as smooth though. Stir in the spices, salt and yoghurt. Add the chicken and potatoes and leave to marinate in the fridge for 10mins. Heat the oil and butter/ghee in a medium non-stick saucepan. Add the onion and cook over a moderate flame, stirring often, until the onion is well browned on the edges, around 7-8 minutes.

Add the chicken, potatoes and curry base and cook over a moderate-high heat, tossing the chicken in the paste quite often until small oil droplets start to form on the base or edges of the pan; this takes around 10-12 minutes. If it still isn’t cooked, you can add a splash of water and cook for another 5 minutes or until the water has reduced.

Add enough water to come halfway up the chicken and bring to the boil. Cover and cook on a low flame until the chicken and potatoes are cooked through, around 12-15 minutes more (depending on the size of the joints and potatoes).

Add the spinach and, once wilted, taste and adjust the seasoning. There should be enough of the sauce for a creamy gravy; if not, add a little more water from the kettle. If you add too much, reduce over a high heat.
Stir in the coriander and serve.

For the vegetarian alternative – replace the chicken with one small cauliflower, leaves removed and broken into florets. Treat in exactly the same way as the chicken.

Pilaff Rice

 25g 1oz butter or ghee
2tbsp onion or shallot, finely chopped
400g 14oz long grain rice, preferably basmati
Scant 1 litre chicken stock
2tbsp herbs (parsley, thyme, chives), freshly chopped, optional
Salt and pepper

Melt butte or ghee in a casserole, add onion and sweat for 2-3min. Add rice and toss for 1-2min, just long enough for the grains to change colour. Season with salt and pepper, add stock, cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a minimum and then simmer on top of the stove or in the oven (170°C/325°F/gas 3) for about 10min. By then the rice should just be cooked – about 10min. By then the rice should be just cooked and all the liquid absorbed. Just before serving, stir in the fresh herbs if using

This is so worth the extra effort so go for it people, best rice ever.

Sea bass or grey mullet en papillote

Serves 4

4 x 160g fillets of sea bass or grey mullet, cleaned, scaled and trimmed
Olive oil
2 red chillies, deseeded and cut into thin strips
1 stalk lemongrass, outside leaves removed, discarded and very finely slice
400g can coconut milk
1-2tbsp fish sauce
Juice and zest of 1 lime
4 lime leaves, very finely sliced

( I would also add some sugar, Thai food is supposed to hit the 4 different tastes (salt, sour, sweet and bitter) and this didn’t really. Not my favourite dish)

Preheat oven to 220C (425F) gas 7.

Season fish inside and out with salt and pepper. Brush four 12in (30cm) squares of foil with a little olive oil and put a fish diagonally across the centre of each piece. Bring sides of the foil up around the fish and crimp together tightly at each end leaving the top open.

In a bowl mix the coconut milk with the lemongrass and chilli, lime zest, juice and lime leaves. Spoon the mixture over the four fish.

Finally, pour a teaspoon of fish sauce into each parcel then seal well. Put on a large baking sheet and bake for 10min.

To serve, put the unopened parcels of fish on four warmed plates and allow each person to open up their parcel. Serve with coconut rice.

The curry was great though and this really is a good easy recipe that most people will like as you can tailor it to anyone’s heat tolerance and likes and dislikes.

My husband has already made this again.

Like I said I wasn’t hugely into this dish but I think a few tweaks and it could be good.

The dish we didn’t get to make (due to time) was the dessert but the lovely Square Food people passed on the recipe so I hope to make this soon.

Rich Chilli Chocolate Tart

For the Sweet Pastry 
 
250g flour
85g icing sugar
125 butter
1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways and seeds scraped out
1 small egg beaten

First make the sweet pastry. Sift flour and icing sugar until completely combined. Rub butter into the flour until nearly breadcrumb consistency. Make a well in the flour and add vanilla and egg yolks. Knead mixture with fingers. Refrigerate for a minimum 20 minutes

Roll out the pastry as thinly as possible and line a tart case with it. Bake blind for 15 – 20 minutes at 190°C then for a further 5 minutes with the baking beans removed, until the pastry is completely cooked.

For the Filling

700ml cream
pinch chilli flakes
350g 70% cocoa solids dark chocolate
5 eggs
2 yolks
1 tsp cocoa powder
150g sugar

To make the tart filling, bring the cream to boiling point with the chilli flakes then remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate, stirring to combine until the mixture has a smooth, glossy consistency. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, yolks and cocoa and then stir into the chocolate mixture. Pour into the sweet pastry case and bake at 150°C – 160°C for 15 minutes until the tart is just set. Remove and cool for 30 minutes before eating. Serve with crème fraiche.

 We still have more vouchers to spend and I am looking forward to picking our next course. This one was a great way to spend an evening but as we both cook with chilli and spice a lot at home we didn’t really learn much. So next time instead of sticking to what we know and like I might pick something geared towards something we don’t cook.

Check out the Square Food Foundation – they are doing really great things.

Our dessert I was sad to see was not sticky rice and mango (Husbands favourite) but steamed banana cakes, but these were so cute and again simple to make I am glad I learnt how as I never would have chosen these.

We made little cups from banana leaves to steam our cakes in.

You need, for two people;
3 very ripe bananas
100g rice flour
20 tapioca flour for thickening
120g sugar
pinch salt
60ml coconut cream
50 grated young coconut

1. Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and smash until a smooth mixture is formed. Pour the mixture into containers or cups, or banana leaves!

2. Steam them over boiling water for 20-30 minutes or until the cakes become springy.

 You can eat the cakes hot or cold, I ate one of mine with some coffee at the end of a long day of eating.

I had to, such a Thai dessert, quite light considering and I imagine stomach and mouth soothing too great after a hot Thai dish

Herman Friendship Cake

August 1, 2011

Bear with me on this recipe, I think it’s lovely but some people have thought it strange!

This cake comes from a recipe called Herman the German.

Basically you get given a little starter of yeasty cake mix, which you then look after, feed and grow it for 10 days by feeding the yeast.

You then split it into four, bake one part into a cake then give the other three parts away to friends who carry on the cycle.

It gives really tasty, moist cake and you can add whatever you want at the end.

If you want to start the cake…

1 packet Dry Yeast
2 cups lukewarm Water
2 cups Flour

In a glass or plastic container, dissolve yeast in warm water then add flour and beat till smooth. Cover and let stand at room temperature 48 hours. This makes two cups of the starter.
Use one cup of Herman and give the other cup to a friend, that’s two Herman cakes out in the world!

Below are the exact instructions I was given by my colleague Liz who passed Herman to me…

“Hello, my name is Herman. I’m a sourdough cake, if I have come to live with you it’s because one of you friends believes that you will keep me alive and then introduce me to more friends. I’m supposed to be kept on a worktop for 10 days without a lid on…
You can’t put me in the fridge (or I will die). If I stop bubbling, I am dead…. Follow the instructions in how to keep me alive below; it’s been a pleasure meeting you”

 Day 1: Herman has come to live with you, first of all pour him into a large mixing bowl, cover loosely with a tea towel.

Day 2: Stir well

Day 3: Same as yesterday (easy huh?)

Day 4: Herman will be very hungry!! Add 1 cup of plain flour, sugar and milk and then stir well.

Day 5-8: Stir well

Day 9: Hungry again, add the same as Day 4 and stir well…

… Then divide the mixture into 4 equal amounts and give 3 away to your friends (only trustworthy ones please) with a copy of these instructions. Herman no. 4 will stay with you.

 Day 10: Herman’s hungry again… Stir well and add the following:

1 cup of sugar
2 cups plain flour
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder 
½ tsp salt
2/3 cup of cooking oil
2 cooking apples (in chunks)
1 cup of raisins (optional)
½ cup of walnuts (optional) 
(other optional ingredients pineapple, cherries, chopped chocolate etc)

Method: Mix everything together & put into a large greased roasting tin.
Sprinkle with ¼ cup of melted butter and ¼ cup of brown sugar.
Bake for 45 minutes at 170-180 (gas mark 5).
When cold cut into finger shaped pieces. Freezes well and is delicious warm with cream and custard… enjoy!!

I added to mine almond essence, ground almonds, flaked almonds, white chocolate chunks and raspberries. Delicious!

Give it a go, start one with your friends and see how far it spreads!