So, it’s not really a matter of “in season” but it’s the season for pumpkin, right? This year, the hoopla around pumpkin seems to have come to a peak – my local supermarket was overrun with them from the first of October and, well, the telltale sign is the bizarre backlash in the media. I’ve seen for-and-against. I’ve seen pumpkin spice hate. This, on the cultural significance of it all, was a really interesting read. But more importantly, the food! One of my favourite pumpkin finds was pumpkin spice chocolate muffins with maple cream cheese frosting (Flourishing Foodie).
ancakes and waffles and bacon and toast and granola. Coffee and hot chocolate and a cheeky glass of fizzy. Brunch, the meal-between-meals, has crept into the hearts of Britons, years after it became a ‘thing’ in America and not a moment too soon. London’s Breakfast Club has long been the sweetheart of pancake aficionados in the capital, but these days cafes catering for this almost-meal are springing up around the country, often in the form of Bill’s or Patisserie Valerie. As it’s become a cultural phenomenon in itself, a symptom of a desire to show class status, whether it’s through getting smashed on prosecco at 11am or being dedicated enough to wait more than an hour just to sit down, a backlash has even started.
But let’s face it – it’s the ultimate diverse meal, a no-rules affair that let’s you go savoury, sweet, or that excellent mix of both. It’s a relaxed couple of hours with friends, not over cocktails in a noisy bar, but over coffees. You don’t have to get up early for it, and leaves enough of the day spare that you can crawl back into your pajamas to binge on Netflix if you want to. And when the economy is still struggling, it’s a little indulgence that stops short of costing the £40 you could easily spend on lunch. Why would you not love brunch?
On Sophie’s (The Cake Hunter) recommendation, the morning after her wedding, Em (Mbakes) and I headed to Moose Coffee in central Manchester for brunch before embarking on the long drive back to London (shout out to Em’s boyfriend for being an absolute gem and driving the whole way). And, um, I think I need to go back to Manchester just to go there again. Continue reading →
ovelty chocolate klaxon! You know those foods that are so odd, for the first 30 seconds of eating them your mouth doesn’t quite know what to do? When your tastebuds are totally confused as each bit of your tongue is hit with a new flavour? This fig & pink pepper dark chocolate is one of those, but unlike the time my oldest brother tricked me into eating wasabi Lindt, when your tongue finally settles down you’ll be reaching for another piece.
Betty & Walter have teamed up with Creighton’s, the geniuses behind bacon chocolate, to create a limited edition range of quirky chocolate bars. Check out the four new flavours here.*
Bonus link – here’s a little love letter to lunchboxes. Who doesn’t love a compartmentalised airtight box?
Tip of the Week – chopping chocolate
Keeping on theme here, there’s one super easy tip that’ll stop chunks of chocolate flying everywhere when you chop it – it’s not just me, right?
Instead of using a straight knife, use a bread knife, particularly when cutting through large blocks. The serrated edge reduces resistance, making the cut less jerky and difficult. Keep the tip of the knife on your chopping board using your spare hand as you cut down. No more three-second-rule-floor chocolate. (Sorry. Ew.)
As a natural ginger, I often find summer kind of tough – I’ve got skin that burns quicker than a slice of toast if I’m not careful, and would rather be caught in autumn drizzle than stuck in the stifling heat of midday sun bouncing off buildings. This used to mean a) browsing in supermarket frozen aisles for a long time, and b) clutching a Starbucks frappucino more frequently than anyone’s bank balance can really take.
Homemade iced coffees just weren’t the same, with the drink getting weaker with every drop of melted cube. Enter coffee ice cubes. Made with coffee stronger than what you’d actually drink, they stop your drink from losing its power. They do tend to be a little sticky – you can encourage them out of the tray by running the back of it under the tap before popping them out. Happy bank balance, happy inner thermostat.
Pick of the Week
Now Wimbledon is over, it’s time to break away from plain old strawberries and cream. You could go with a cake, or cookies, sure, but Kathryn at London Bakes has gone a step further to make these phenomenal balsamic-roasted strawberry margaritas. Balsamic strawberries, tequila, and lime – yeah, I’m gonna need a few of these.