Wednesday 11 December 2013

Coffee: Going Over to the Dark Side

I have an admission to make: just lately I have been drinking more coffee than tea. This came about for a variety of reasons, the most important of which was our summer trip to the midwest of the United States. I have always drunk coffee (albeit decaf for some years due to boring health reasons) but have generally favoured an espresso with various milk options: a latte; a cappuccino; a Milchkaffee; whatever the local variety happens to be. I drink one of these most mornings but at other times of the day it just feels like too much milk.

Saturday 19 October 2013

Review: Kensington Palace Orangery

Before heading off on my summer break to the Midwest of the US of A (where I had a wonderful time but drank very little tea worth writing about) I was lucky enough to be invited to sample the relaunched afternoon tea at Kensington Palace's Orangery. Now, the Orangery is somewhere I've always intended to visit but being located in a part of town I don't venture to very often, I have somehow never quite managed it. To make even more of a treat of it, I took my sister H along.

Thursday 4 July 2013

Very Easy Oaty Biscuit Recipe

Plate of chocolate drizzled oat biscuits

I'm not sure what's going on but just lately I've been craving food with crunch. It's not the flavour of things I've been thinking about but the texture. I'm sure this has some deep psychological reason but there seemed only one thing to do: bake some biscuits. I'm not talking about soft crumbly cookies or biscuits containing a buttercream centre but an old-fashioned, honest-to-goodness crunchy biscuit.

Tuesday 18 June 2013

Review: Café am Waldsee, Zehlendorf

Cafe am Waldsee homemade cakes cherry streusel pear cake

As I have mentioned before, I love going to museums and galleries with good cafés. Obviously I love going to museums and galleries generally but it's so much more enjoyable when there's somewhere nice to have a spot of lunch or afternoon tea while you're there.

Monday 10 June 2013

A Kettle For The Perfect Cuppa

Morphy Richards Accents kettle green tea

Right back when I started this blog I wrote about water temperature and how important it is to get it right when making different cups of tea. Ever had a really bitter tasting cup of green tea? Chances are you've scalded the leaves. It's one of those things that sounds like it's just for people who are a little too serious about their tea-making (really, moi?) but it's actually something that anyone who drinks anything other than good old black tea needs to remember.

Another thing I feel pretty strongly about is the quality of the water. Living in a hard-water area (as many of us do) I always use a water filter - both for drinking cold and for making tea. This is not just to avoid de-scaling the kettle on a monthly basis but also because the tea just tastes much better with filtered water. So when I was contacted recently to ask if I'd be interested in trying a Morphy Richards water-filtering kettle, I was really excited to give it a try; especially as, due to the hot and cold water pipes being too close together somewhere in my house, I've a rather complicated system involving my filter jug and various glass bottles that ensures I don't have to run the tap for 2 minutes before I can pour myself a drink of cold water. Anything to simplify my water-processing/tea-making situation sounded like a good idea.

Tuesday 30 April 2013

Review: Anderson & Co, Peckham

Red Velvet cake and coffee

I've written before about how one of the nicest things about having a blog is the opportunities it creates for meeting like-minded people. So when Jess of Knitting on Trains mentioned that she lived in my neck-of-the-woods and wondered whether I'd like to meet up for afternoon tea I jumped at the chance. I was really keen to re-visit a café I'd had lunch at a few months ago - especially as I'd spent much of the meal looking longingly at their rather good-looking cake selection.

Saturday 6 April 2013

Review: Sowohlalsauch, Prenzlauer Berg

Sowohl Alsauch Berlin

I'm not quite sure why I have never written about what is probably my favourite cake place in Berlin. It isn't a reluctance to share the love for fear of never getting a table: the place is always rammed anyway. I think it might have something to do with the fact that my feelings are pretty conflicted about the place.  Sowohlalsauch occupies a large corner plot in the prettiest bit of Prenzlauer Berg and is always, day and night, really busy. During the summer the enormous terrace is full of locals, tourists, dogs, sparrows, and anyone else who is quick enough to reserve a coveted sunny spot. Even in the autumn everyone huddles under blankets beneath the huge awning that keeps off the rain and the worst of the wind.

Tuesday 12 March 2013

Clementine Cupcake Recipe

Clementine orange cupcake

Yesterday I made some pretty amazing cupcakes. Okay you're thinking, calm down with the arrogant claims; but I'm telling you, I can hardly stop myself stuffing my face with the lot of them. Lovely and moist, with a distinct but subtle - almost marmalade - flavour they are pretty much everything I like in a cake.

Thursday 17 January 2013

In Praise of Black Forest Gâteaux

Black Forest Gateaux

I have been absent from this blog for some time. A combination of work and lack of inspiration has kept me away - apologies for that. But finally I have been driven to write by a truly awesome cake experience.

I've always been a fan of unfashionable food: fondue - one of my favourites; cheese and pineapple hedgehogs - a party nibble of choice; and now Black Forest Gâteaux. I have to admit I've always been a fan in theory. The combination of chocolate, cherry and cream - I mean, what's not to like? But more often than not they're of the light and tasteless variety and never offer enough of a chocolate or cherry hit to be really satisfying. But recently I enjoyed a Black Forest Gâteau - or Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte as they're known in German-speaking countries - so delicious I'm ready to spearhead a one-woman revival.