Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Review: Lotterleben, Prenzlauer Berg


Kaffee und kuchen Berlin teaI'd heard that Berlin had recently had a big snowfall so I wasn't altogether surprised to see the entire city blanketed in white as my plane came in to land at Tegel Airport last week. But what did come as something of a shock was the eight inches of thick ice - still containing the residue of New Year's Eve fireworks - covering every pavement. Winters are always hard in Berlin but this was something else. Ice upon grit upon snow upon ice - well you get the picture. Undeterred Coffee Boy and I headed to the Mauerpark Flohmarkt the morning after we arrived. It's an enormous flea market held in a park where part of the wall used to run and sells everything from handcrafted baby clothes to bits of old electrical cable. In truth we were more interested in browsing than actually buying anything (sorry freezing stall holders) but did purchase some delicious caramel & mint licorice. After we'd had our fill of shuffling past the eclectic offerings we stopped to watch the intrepid sledgers on the steep hill in the park alongside - some of whom were reaching speeds that wouldn't look out of place in the Winter Olympics. By this stage we were thoroughly cold and decided that the best thing to warm us up would be a hot drink and perhaps a slice of cake.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Global Communitea

Patterdale TerrierIt was a cold and miserable day in London last Monday (no big surprises there - it is February) so walking Jimmy, my beloved terrier, was a little bit more of an effort than usual. It's not helped by the fact that as he gets older - he's around 16 - he gets more reluctant to go out in the rain himself. Anyway, on arriving home, damp and ever-so-slightly gloomy, I discovered a parcel left by the postman. It had come from Australia so I knew it had to be the tea that The Likkle Girl who Wurves Pwetty Things had promised to send me. But I was expecting a few tea bags and this was a not inconsiderable parcel. What could be inside?

Monday, 8 February 2010

Upmarket Cupcakes

Upmarket Truman Brewery Brick Lane cupcakesI've realised I am becoming quite fussy when it comes to cupcakes. The more baking I do myself, the more I feel it's unacceptable for so-called bakeries to make a boring old vanilla cupcake, stick a few sweets on top and charge upwards of £1.75 for it. So what a delight to stumble upon Molly Bakes yesterday. I had a lunchtime bowling date for a friends birthday and on the way home decided to pop into UpMarket at the Truman Brewery to grab a bite to eat. One delicious Ethiopian injera wrap later it was time to head home. But just as I was thinking "hmmmnnn, what I really fancy is something sweet", the Molly Bakes stall appeared before me as if a vision. My growing scepticism about cupcakes may have encouraged me to walk on by were it not for the lavender cupcakes I spotted.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Banana Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Banana cupcake chocolate buttercream starI really hate wasting food; it just feels wrong on every level. But there are some things that no matter how infrequently I buy them, I seem to find myself tossing, mouldy, into the bin a week or two later. One such culprit is the black banana. Truth be told I'm not the world's biggest banana fan. Oh I like them and everything, but if I'm reaching for a piece of fruit it's generally fairly low down on my list of preferences. Coffee Boy purportedly loves them though, so from time to time I buy him a bunch. But clearly he doesn't love them quite enough as I often find them hanging sadly upon the banana stand (yes, yes, I know I have far too many kitchen gadgets) looking black and pretty yucky.