Bourdain's Pork with Milk

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Remember Jamie Oliver's chicken in milk I made awhile ago? Roasted spatchcocked chicken in a curdled milk sauce? Yeah...that was Y.U.M. So when I came across this Anthony Bourdain's pork in milk recipe at Ellie's website, I just had to make it. The original recipe calls for boneless pork loin roast, but I couldn't get hold of that cut so I used pork shoulder instead. The meat is first seared on all sides then braised in milk until done. Very simple, and you end up with an extremely tender and flavourful piece of meat.

So, which recipe do I prefer? Jamie Oliver's.

I couldn't stop thinking about the browned curdled milk that tasted like grilled cheese when I was eating the pork.

Roti de Porc Au Lait (Roast Pork with Milk)
Ingredients:
Adapted from Almost Bourdain's Roti de Porc Au Lait (Roast Pork with Milk)
  • 1.2 kg boneless pork shoulder - fats removed
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 large onion - diced
  • 1 large carrot - diced
  • 1 leek - white part only, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bulb garlic - peeled and crushed
  • 1 tbs plain flour
  • 568 ml (1 pint) whole milk
  • 1 sprig of flat parsley
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black peppercorn

Directions:
  • Season the pork with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the oil in a pot. When the oil is hot, add the butter.
  • Brown the meat on all sides. Remove pork and leave aside for later use.
  • Remove oil from pot, leaving about 1 tbs in the pot.
  • Add onion, carrot, leek and garlic, stir-fry until soft. Remember to scrape the brown bits left from frying the pork.
  • Mix in flour, stir to mix for about 2 mins.
  • Add milk and all herbs.
  • Bring to a boil and cook over high heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add the pork and any juices that have collected on the plate.
  • Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat for 2 hour. Remember to rotate the pork every now and then, and also scrape the bottom of the pot as the pork (the sugars) in the milk can cause sticking and scorching.
  • Remove the pork and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
  • Strain the cooking liquid into a small pot and bring to a boil. Using a hand blender, puree the sauce until foamy. Adjust the seasoning as needed.
  • Serve with pork
Roti de Porc Au Lait (Roast Pork with Milk) 2
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Pillow Cheesecake with Salted Butter Caramel Sauce

Monday, 27 September 2010

I'm back!!!

I've finally submitted my thesis - a week earlier than planned - phew...more than 3 years of hard work all wrapped up in a book. I'm done, for now. I will have to attend a viva, but will think about that later. So, I'm back in Manchester, back to my kitchen, back to more cooking and baking!

I came back and found a parcel containing some Tate & Lyle’s Fairtrade cane sugars, very kindly sent to me by Michael. Tate & Lyle has committed to making its entire retail range 100% Fairtrade and you can get most of their sugars in Waitrose and The Co-op and they are just starting to sell their Fairtrade granulated sugar in Tesco. Do check out Tate and Lyle's website for their fantastic range of sugars.

Tate and Lyle sugar

I've been using Tate & Lyle's sugar (mainly caster and granulated) for quite sometime now and here's a fantastic cheesecake recipe that's made with their caster sugar - a chocolate crusted cheesecake served with salted butter caramel sauce. Although it's made with 900 g of cream cheese, this cheesecake was as described "pillow soft". The egg yolks were separated from the whites and the whites were whipped to stiff peaks before incorpored into the batter. This together with the sour cream, corn starch and lemon zest resulted in a slightly tangy, soft yet rich cheesecake. To top it off, the cheesecake was served with salted butter caramel sauce - Y.U.M.

Pillow Cheesecake with Salted Butter Caramel Sauce
Ingredients: 9-inch cake
Recipe adapted from My Tartelette
For chocolate shortbread base:
  • 125 g unsalted butter - very cold, cubed
  • 43 g caster sugar
  • 150 g plain flour
  • 15 g cacao powder
For cheesecake batter:
  • 900 g Philadelphia cream cheese - softened at room temperature
  • 115 g unsalted butter - softened at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tbs cornstarch - sifted
  • Zest of one lemon

Directions:
For chocolate shortbread base:
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Work the butter, sugar, flour and cacao with a food processor or your fingers to get a sandy mixture.
  • Work the dough for a minute.
  • Press dough into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes.
  • Let cool completely.
For cheesecake batter:
  • Combine the cream cheese, butter, sugar, lemon zest, creme fraiche and cornstarch in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until combine. Do not incorporate too much air or the cake will crack. Make sure the cream cheese and butter are very soft.
  • Add the egg yolks one at a time and beat until just combined.
  • In another clean mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Gently fold them in the cream cheese batter.
  • Pour the batter over the chocolate shortbread crust.
  • The batter will reach the rim of the cake.
  • Wrap your springform pan with heavy duty aluminium foil, set it in a large roasting pan, add enough hot water to come up halfway up the side of the pan. Bake at 160°C for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Turn the oven off, crack the door of the oven open and let your cake cool in there for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and refrigerate completely for a few hours or better yet overnight.
Salted Butter Caramel Sauce

Pillow Cheesecake with Salted Butter Caramel Sauce 3
Ingredients:
Recipe from My Tartelette
  • 240 g sugar
  • 80 ml water
  • 115 g salted butter
  • 150 ml heavy whipping cream

Directions:
  • In a heavy saucepan set over low heat, combine the sugar and water and heat just until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Add the butter.
  • Let it come to a boil and cook until it reaches a golden caramel color.
  • Remove from the heat and add the cream ( it will splatter and get crazy, but do not fear and trust the recipe).
  • Whisk to combine and put back on the stove. Let it come to a boil again over low heat and cook 10-15 minutes until you reach a nice creamy consistency.
  • Pour some onto the cheesecake and enjoy!

Pillow Cheesecake with Salted Butter Caramel Sauce 2

If you love baking, why not join Tate & Lyle's Facebook page called We Love Baking. It is an active community with lots of fans, sharing some really good recipes and tips. Do join in the discussion and share some pictures and recipes of your baked goodies!

Thanks again to Tate and Lyle and Michael for the sugars!
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Galvin La Chapelle

Thursday, 16 September 2010

*sigh*

Another one of our slightly exclusive group of college-mates is leaving the flock. We’re quite an odd bunch, from a slightly odd college; for some reason, the majority of students in said boarding school were from South Et and Far East Asian countries. It was great though as we didn’t feel very homesick and ended up with some great friends. After A levels we went to London and meet up for meals or just to hang out and we would usually have to get a table for 10-12. After 9 years from college though, we usually just meet up in groups of 4-6 as quite a few of us have gone back home.

Anyway so when a friend is leaving and chose Galvin La Chapelle to have dinner, I didn’t make a fuss even though I had a good if not particularly outstanding experience at the Windows* branch before. However, a chat with the manager before dinner revealed that this new branch (opened Nov 09) is to be their new flagship restaurant and he also recommended some of the more popular dishes to try.

Even before eating anything though, we were already feasting our eyes on the restaurant itself, an old chapel which then became a school’s gym before being abandoned and was due to be demolished before being saved and reincarnated into a restaurant.

Galvin La Chapelle, London 02

We were discussing the origins of the restaurant name – the wine buff was certain it was named after the prestigious vineyards (apparently there was a bottle on the winelist with the price in excess of £15,000) while the girls felt it more likely the building itself was an old chapel, especially with the little chapel on the front of the menu.

Galvin La Chapelle, London 01

A choice of white or brown bread was offered but both were cold and slightly miserable.

Lasagne of Dorset crab, velouté of girolle mushrooms”. Hmm I really wanted to love this. From the menu, it sounds fantastic and it looked even better when we laid eyes on it. But despite the delicately built “lasagne” with its silky smooth ultra thin layers of pasta sheets, I just couldn’t really taste the delicate crab meat and my taste buds just kept tasting eggs instead. Also the mushroom velouté was gorgeous but I didn’t think it suited the (supposedly) crab very well.

Galvin La Chapelle, London 05

Ballotine of Landaise foie gras, peaches & Pain d’ épice”. This one was much better although it was a lot more straight forward. The foie gras itself was not bad although it was a rather thin slice and the sweetened peaches was a nice foil to the meaty foie. Sadly I was too engrossed with the foie and peaches than I forgot all about the toasted brioche.

Galvin La Chapelle, London 04

Tagine of Bresse pigeon, aubergine purée & harissa sauce”. I only sampled a bite of my friend’s dish, but the pigeon was tender and moist. It certainly didn’t look like a “normal” tagine though.

Galvin La Chapelle, London 11

Cornish lamb rump, sweetbread, liver & stuffed courgette flower ’Provençale”. Eating this, I was reminded of a similar dish in Ledbury**. Here, the lamb itself was pretty good to eat and the jus below it gave sufficient taste but sadly the liver was far too dry. The stuffed courgette flower was genuinely interesting and the vegetable stuffing inside was actually pretty good to eat too.

Galvin La Chapelle, London 06

Roast breast of corn-fed Goosnargh duck, red cabbage, caramelised apple & blackcurrant jus”. The duck itself was fairly well seasoned with very generous helpings of red cabbage which was slightly sweet then topped with sweeter thinly sliced slightly crunchy apples. Tweaking a common dish by adding the caramelised apple was a bold stroke that worked very well here.

Galvin La Chapelle, London 07

Chilled chocolate fondant, milk ice cream & fresh raspberries”. This felt more like liquid chocolate inside a casing of dark chocolate mousse instead of a normal fondant. Utterly decadent, it needed the milk ice cream to help counter the rather bitter chocolate. The raspberries also helped by providing a little fresh zing to help balance the palate.

Galvin La Chapelle, London 10

Toasted hazelnut parfait, lime confiture”. The French definition of parfait sounds just like ice cream to me and this feels pretty much like a very creamy and smooth ice cream. The hazelnuts provided the necessary textures here while the lime gave a different turn of flavour although I found it too zingy and sour.

Galvin La Chapelle, London 09

Apple tart Tatin, crème fraîche”. Again, I only had a spoonful from my friend’s dish, but it felt like a pretty good example of a classic dessert with caramelised apple and a crisp pastry (to be honest I was distracted by my chocolate fondant).

Galvin La Chapelle, London 08

Altogether with a £40 bottle of Burgundy, the bill came up to just over £60 a head. Service throughout was fairly good and attentive throughout. While the ex-chapel was typically high and lofty, on a warm summer’s evening it was incredibly stuffy inside the restaurant; the open-air kitchen definitely didn’t help either.

Food – 8.0
Service – 6.0
Atmosphere – 6.0
Value – 5.0


Foodwise, the plate presentation and quality of the cooking here (except for the liver) was superb. Barring the crab + mushroom, the other combinations on the plates worked quite well and there was an abundance of flavour about. The portion sizes looked fairly decent but I left feeling I could fit a little bit more into my stomach, perhaps we’re a bit too used to the heavy French sauces which is absent here.

Best bit: the company.
Worst bit: starting to wonder if it’ll be our turn to go home too.

Galvin La Chapelle, London 11

Galvin La Chapelle
35 Spital Square,
London,
E1 6DY
Tel:+44(020) 7299 0400

Galvin La Chapelle on Urbanspoon


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Bento Making with My Bentolicious

Monday, 13 September 2010

Cute bento do exist in real life!

Here I would like to introduce the concept of bento or lunch in a box. If you watch any anime or read manga, you should be familiar with these cute little lunch boxes. I'm not an expert in this. As you can tell, I'm a very lazy cook, I don't think I can wake up at 6 a.m. every morning to prepare a pretty lunch box for the wild boar. Plus, I don't have such delicate fingers and talent in art. However, I cannot resist cute stuff and admire people who has the talent and patience to prepare bento boxes for their family like Lia. Lia is from Jakarta and a mother of two. She is the author of My Bentolicious - a blog filled cute and delicious lunch boxes. Please welcome Lia to Pig Pig's Corner as she shares her experiences in bento making.

I was very pleased when Ann from Pig Pig's Corner asked me to do a guest post for her lovely blog. I have been following Ann’s blog and twitter for a quite sometimes now. One of the wonderful foodies blogs that I bookmarked on my laptop. I really enjoy her posts.

For those of you who are not familiar with bento … Bento is a meal put and served in the box and originally came from Japan. Bento becomes very popular now outside Japan. I started blogging about bento about 1 year ago. I was reluctant at the first time but my very supportive husband kept encouraging me to do it as a journey for my bento learning and bento making. I make bento for my kids to bring to school. That way I can be sure that they have nutritious foods.

Some of my friends are skeptical about bento making and are afraid to try it because they have an incorrect concept about bento :
  • Bento does not necessarily have to be a Charaben (character) bento like most of the bento that I prepare for my kids. The point is that we should put a healthy balance meal in a bento. That’s why I made 2 different bentos so you could get the idea. I choose Charaben bento for my 10 y.o daughter and 7 y.o son because I think they will enjoy it more given their very young age. But they never complain either if I just prepare a non Charaben bento for them.

BentoliciousPic1
Charaben Bento - 3 Wise Monkeys. First tier box : fresh berries, chicken karaage, stir fry ham and celery, pan fry corn cake, and lettuce. Second tier box : steamed rice decorated with 3 wise monkeys on the top. 3 wise monkeys were made of egg sheets, crab stick, nori and food picks. For more details about how to make egg sheet, you can find the tutorial on My Bentolicious.

  • Bento is not necessary to be filled with Japanese foods. It can be adapted. In my case, I always put home cooking foods. After all I prepare bento that my kids will enjoy eating and not wasting it.
  • Bento is not necessary for kids only. It’s for everybody, there is no age restriction.
  • Bento making doesn’t always have to use many tools. Tools are just a compliment in bento making. For my non-Charaben bento, I only used flower shapes cookies cutter with big straw. So don’t get mislead by the concept that you can only make a good bento if you own a lot of bento tools. Many bento makers are very successful to present their beautiful and healthy bento without using many tools.
  • Bento making needs a lot of time to prepare. Yes and No. Some of my bentos are very simple and quick to prepare that I just took 15 minutes (not included cooking time); but yes that some of them needed a little longer from 30 minutes – 1,5 hour to prepare. So it’s of your preference. If you don’t have the time to prepare it then you can choose a simple one without so many details. And if you do and love to do more details, go for it … why not?

BentoliciousPic2
Non-Cute Bento. First tier box : stir fry bean sprouts with anchovy, curry tofu, sunny side up, grape tomatoes, sauteed pork & cucumber with lemon grass, and lettuce. Second tier box : steamed rice decorated with flowers. Flowers were made from carrots, daikon, and green peas.

I really enjoy my bento learning and bento making process. Bento community in blogging is very supportive and it’s fun to have so many friends around the world. They have been a great inspiration for my bento making. You can join the fun now with us and start your bento making considering that you can control all the the healthy foods you want to put in a box and cost saving also.
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Koffmann's @The Berkeley

Friday, 10 September 2010

Pierre Koffmann. Who? Apologies, Koffmann is a name unfamiliar to me, a little before my time. Still, I heard enough good stuff from Kavey and Gourmet Traveller to instigate a reservation here.

  • Previous 3 starred head chef of La Tante Claire at Royal Hospital Road which he then sold the property to Gordon Ramsay (yeah, that one) in 2003.
  • Ironically, the current site of Koffman’s is Gordon Ramsay’s Boxwood Café at the Berkeley Hotel which closed in early 2010.
  • Worked with the Roux brothers at Le Gavroche** and was head chef at Waterside Inn*** (not so much love).

So we turned up at noon on a beautiful Sunday to Koffman’s at the Berkeley Hotel and were promptly shown into the brand new restaurant. It is remarkably spacious despite having 120 covers; the tables were well spaced and sufficiently large to accommodate plates and elbows. The décor is fairly muted with the occasional large photographs of ingredients (I had a bowl of apples in front of me) and some flowers scattered throughout. There was also a bar with a bookcase across it (rather weird combination for me) in the middle of the restaurant.

An amuse-bouche of filo pastry topped with olives and onions soon appeared. It was fairly disappointing, being quite mild in flavour and the flavours itself weren’t particularly impressive either. Not a good start.

Koffmann's, London 01

A basket of bread soon appeared, mostly sour dough. Although not made in-store today, apparently that will soon change once everything gets running in full swing. Nice and warm, the bread was pretty decent but the soft light butter upstaged it.

Koffmann's, London 12

Snails, girolles, garlic and mashed potatoes”.

Koffmann's, London 03

WB: What’s that at the bottom?
Pig: Mashed potatoes.
WB: Can’t be. It’s so light, like a mousse, almost airy. Doesn’t feel like potato at all.

But oh yes it was, with the soft tender morsels of snails accented with garlic. The green foam topping was made of parsley although the taste isn’t really evident. Still a good starter though, great to eat.

Potted foie gras with baguette”. The terrine was nice and rich with lots of foie taste. However, the baguette was a change from the usual toasted bread which I’m a bit undecided on whether it’s good or not. The density of the baguette attempted to dwarf the taste of the terrine at times and it was actually pretty filling as well. Accompanying the terrine were little cubes of rather insignificant jelly.

Koffmann's, London 02

Pig’s trotter stuffed with sweetbreads & morels”.

Koffmann's, London 04

One of Koffman’s signature dishes, this is not something for the faint of heart (or anyone with a significant cardiovascular risks). I got a funny thing about braised trotters – I love the porky goodness and inevitable gooey sauce the cooking produces, but I can’t stand the inevitable fats of the dish.

Koffmann's, London 07

We normally swap plates at the halfway stage but I could only stomach a mouthful before needing to trade plates back; whilst I can appreciate the soft bubbly fat and the sweetbread filling inside, together in combination they proved far too much for me. The PigPig however, a true fan of the fats, absolutely loved this dish especially the rich thick gravy. The mashed potatoes were also incredibly rich and creamy but unlike Robuchon’s, also very buttery which can be a good or bad thing; myself I preferred Robuchon’s version.

Roasted rabbit with Dijon mustard”. Although cooked a little bit more than I would have preferred, it still remained fairly tender. We were told the filling was of chicken liver and morels but to be honest it tasted more like mince pork to us. Still, the jus was full of flavour and I enjoyed the entire dish although the mustard was quite mild as well. The vegetables scattered about the plate served its purpose to distract me and provide different tastes/textures without being particularly interesting.

Koffmann's, London 06

Three side dishes were provided as well. The French fries were truly outstanding being crunchy on the outside but fluffy on the inside despite being so skinny. The broccoli was overcooked to me while I found the last plate of carrots and peas too buttery although the PigPig quite liked it.

Koffmann's, London 05

Pistachio soufflé with pistachio ice-cream”. Despite being warned there would be a 20 minute wait for the soufflé, we couldn’t resist ordering another of Koffman’s signature dishes. The extra large soufflé had lots of pistachio flavour and weirdly what felt like marzipan as well. The accompanying ice cream was also great, but unfortunately melted fairly rapidly.

Koffmann's, London 11

Champagne bombe with Guinness sorbet”. A ball of Guinness sorbet, wrapped in champagne ice cream, topped with champagne sorbet, all sitting on a layer of champagne jelly – does this not sound awesome? My only wish is for more of the jelly although I suppose it could have been a bit too filling if more was present.

Koffmann's, London 08

We finished off with a cup of filtered coffee. More to the PigPig’s interest was the petit fours of rose macaron, bitter chocolate fudge and rose marshmallow.

Koffmann's, London 09

Altogether the bill came up to £55 per person for a three course meal each, a cup of coffee and tap water. It only opened 3 weeks (and 2 days) on the day of our visit (08/08/10) and as our waitress explained, they were still working out some kinks. We didn’t really notice any such issue during our visit though as service throughout was prompt and attentive.

The staff also seemed quite friendly and seemed quite keen for feedback on the food; we didn’t advertise that we were bloggers but it’s a bit hard to hide a DSLR at times. We were invited to have a peep at the open plan kitchen to see Monsieur Koffman at work although we were advised it’s probably best not to disturb him while he was busy (fair enough, I don’t like being disturbed at work by random strangers either). Apparently he’ll be present in the kitchen overseeing pretty much everything for the opening period of this restaurant.

Koffmann's, London 10

Food – 8.0
Service – 6.5
Atmosphere – 6.0
Value – 4.0


Impressed? Quite. In my opinion Koffman’s is on par with most of the other high end restaurants I’ve been to so far (not an exhaustive list by any means).

Best bit: champagne sorbet with jelly.
Worst bit: not being able to stomach the fat on fat dish of pig’s trotter. Luckily the PigPig didn’t mind not sharing it.

Koffmann's
The Berkeley
Wilton Place
Knightsbridge
London
SW1X 7RL
T: +44 (0)20 7235 6000
Official website
Koffmann's on Urbanspoon

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In The Zone with Matcha Granola

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Sorry for my lack of posts last week and maybe the coming month. We have been extremely busy over the weekend - packing, moving, unpacking - always a nightmare. We have officially moved further away from London, much further up north this time to Manchester because the Wild Boar got a job there. As for me, I've moved back into college and will be looking out of this window 24/7.

photo

That's the view (King's College Chapel, Cambridge) from my current work desk in one of the rooms in the attic. Totaly isolated.

photo(2)

I'm supposed to be "in the zone" as I have a deadline to meet end of this month. After that, I will be free!!! So, I won't be seeing the wild boar this month and won't be cooking anything. All I have now is a bowl, a spoon and a box of yummy homemade matcha granola.

Matcha granola
Ingredients:
From Katie of Matcha Chocolat
  • 300g old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
  • 75g sliced or slivered almonds (I used 100g)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs veg oil or 2 tbs (28g) unsalted butter - melted
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or just sweeten with sugar) (I used 6 tbs agave nectar)
  • 1-3 tsp Matcha green tea (I used 3 tsp)
  • A few drops of almond extract (optional) (I used 1 tsp vanilla extract)

Directions:
  • Heat oven to about 150°C.
  • Stir all ingredients together.
  • Place the mixture evenly across a baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally so the mixture browns evenly.
  • Lay out to cool and dry completely.

Matcha granola 2

I will try to post something every now and then but they will all be backlogs which need to be dealt with. Now is the best time! I will (hopefully) be back next month, till then!

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Yet Another Fruit Pastry Cake

Saturday, 4 September 2010

I couldn't resist and jumped on the fruit pastry cake bandwagon. You've probably seen this gazillion times now, but it's still so pretty to look at, doesn't it?? The bright and colourful fruits beautifully arranged on a pool of buttery pale yellow batter...

Fruit pastry cake 1

In my case, that's before baking.

Again, I failed to follow the recipe's directions and totally ignored the 'Cover the top with a piece of aluminium foil (greased with butter!) in the last 15 mins of baking to prevent the top from getting too browned' part.

Fruit pastry cake 2

Well...it obviously came out 'too browned'. Too embarassed to show you guys the entire top view.

Fruit pastry cake 3

Reminds me of bread and butter pudding actually with the 'too browned' crust. It was really crispy fresh out of the oven and went really well with the soft and tender cake. And the fresh fruits on top added a really nice tang to it.

Fruit pastry cake 4

Ingredients: 9-inch cake
Adapted from Baking Quinn (I doubled the recipe cause I was greedy)
  • 200g butter - softened at room temperature
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 100g sour cream
  • 6 eggs - room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbs pure vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 420g self raising flour - sifted (I ran out of plain flour)
  • Fruits (I used fresh peaches, blueberries and strawberries. You can use strawberries, blueberries, peaches, bananas, oranges, pears, apples, pineapple, or any other fruits that are not too juicy.)

Directions:
  • Wash,drain and cut fruits. Leave aside for later use.
  • Lightly grease and flour the side of a 9" round pan and line the base with parchment paper.
  • Cream butter, sugar and sour cream until light and fluffy.
  • Dribble in the eggs gradually and beat till incorporated in the batter. (The mixture may appear slightly curdled.)
  • Add vanilla extract and zest. Mix to combine.
  • Mix in flour.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth out the top with a spatula.
  • Arrange fruits on top, don’t press the fruits down into the batter. Decorate the fruits as desired.
  • Bake in pre-heat oven at 180°C for about 1 hr or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the cake (although I doubled the recipe, the cake was done in about 1 hr 15 mins.). Cover the top with a piece of aluminium foil (greased with butter!) in the last 15 mins of baking to prevent the top from getting too browned.
  • Leave the cake to cool in the pan for about 5~10 mins. Unmold and transfer to wire rack to let cool completely.
  • I suggest eating it while it's still warm, serve it with some vanilla ice-cream!

Fruit pastry cake 5

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Oddono's, Dri Dri, Morelli's - Life's Too Short to Eat Bad Ice-Cream

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Gelupo

After all the hype of Gelupo , we too dutifully made our way there and got a scoop each. But we didn’t really like it – felt strangely grainy/watery(diluted actually), not creamy enough, didn’t like the slightly odd flavours. And while I was licking away at the runny ice cream, I couldn’t help but think, “Jeez, I wish I had just gone to Oddono’s”.

Gelupo, London
Gelupo gelato

Gelupo
Soho
7 Archer Street
London,
W1D 7
AU
Official website

Gelupo on Urbanspoon

Oddono’s

Based mainly in the West London area, Oddono’s main outlet and site of operations is on Bute Street just a stone’s throw from the South Kensington tube station. They also have a kiosk in Whiteley’s of Bayswater and in Selfridge’s although the selection is quite limited in those places.

Oddono's, London 1

With about a dozen flavours of ice cream and a further half dozen sorbets, the usual suspects are to be found in the gallery in the Bute Street outlet. From the standard fare such as creamy Madagascan vanilla dotted with copious numbers of black specks of vanilla pods to the rich chocolate.

Oddono's, London 2

Personally, I prefer the stracciatella and bacio (milk chocolate with hazelnuts) while the PigPig loves the pistachio and my aunt always goes for coffee/ caramel. My uncle meanwhile tends to order an affogatto which is essentially a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting away in one or two shots of espresso.

Oddono's, London 3
Affogato - insanely creamy with the ice-cream, it's like drinking coffee flavoured cream.

Life's too short to eat bad ice cream”, as quoted from the Oddono’s website. Oddono's was our favourite gelateria until...

Oddono's
14 Bute Street,
London
SW7 3EX
Other stores
Official website

Oddono on Urbanspoon

Dri Dri

We then got tipped off by a friend that she found Dri Dri serves better gelato than Oddono’s so naturally we went to check it out too (after a particularly disappointing and unfulfilling dessert at Hunan). We went after 10pm so we missed the crowd that is pretty much permanent on Portobello Road on weekends. The shop itself looks incredibly new. In fact, it’s only two months old.

Dri Dri, London 5

Cutting to the chase, the flavours are pretty standard across gelateria everywhere.

Dri Dri, London 1

I first tried the straciatella and bacio while my cousin tried pistachio, partly because they’re our favourites and partly to make a direct comparison to Oddono’s. We found the flavours in Dri Dri actually stronger and more intense while it is equally creamy. We also tried crema dri dri (Dri Dri signature flavor based on the traditional Italian Crema with the addition of caramelized sesame), it was ok, and didn't like the sesame bits. Tried biscotto, supposed to be cookies and cream, but it tasted more like caramel.

Dri Dri, London 3

The PigPig had also tried three sorbets, extra noir chocolate (surprisingly good and creamy), melon and pink grapefruit. My cousin and the PigPig found the melon incredibly full of melon flavour (and melon bits) while I just loved the pink grapefruit as it was a beautiful mix of bitter and sweet.

Dri Dri, London 2

In fact, we enjoyed those flavours so much, we then got another two scoops of strawberry and apricot each. Again, the strawberry was brilliant; it just oozed strawberry essence and had lots of pips. The apricot meanwhile was a bit disappointing as it didn’t really taste of apricot and was quite sour too.

Dri Dri, London 4

PS. we went back a few days later and the Pigpig loved the yoghurt.

Dri Dri
189 Portobello Road
London
W11 2ED
Official website

Morelli’s

Rounding of the trio of gelateria is Morelli’s which has two outlets in London – Harrod’s and Selfridge’s respectively, the former opening first in 2003 and even offering a bespoke flavour service whereby they can create any flavour a customer chooses with 24 hours notice.

Morelli's, London 1

Even on sight, it’s clear that the gelato here is exceedingly soft. It looks just like soft scoop ice cream while it was being scooped into our little sundae cups. I settled for nutella and honey & rose while the PigPig chose mango and ginger & orange. While exceedingly soft and creamy, the flavours seemed slightly artificial somehow and it was too sweet for our tastes.

Morelli's, London 2

Morelli's
Knightsbridge
87–135 Brompton Road
Knightsbridge
London,
SW1X 7XL
Other stores
Official website

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